Hi, I’m Dax Shepard, and I love talking to people. I am endlessly fascinated by the messiness of being human, and I find people who are vulnerable and honest about their struggles and shortcomings to be incredibly sexy. I invite you to join me as I explore other people’s stories. We will celebrate, above all, the challenges and setbacks that ultimately lead to growth and betterment. What qualifies me for such an endeavor? More than a decade of sobriety, a degree in Anthropology and four years of improv training. I will attempt to discover human “truths” without any laboratory work, clinical trials or data collection. I will be, in the great tradition of 16th-century scientists, an Armchair Expert.
Here's the Latest Episode from Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard:
Welcome to Race to 270– Armchair Expert’s first game show! Two competitors, Best friend Aaron Weakley and Perfect 10 Charlie, are on a race to see who can reach 270 pounds first. Aaron starts out the competition at 306 pounds and has 36 pounds to lose. Charlie starts at 230 pounds and has 40 pounds to gain. The winner will receive $5,000! Dax and Monica check-in with the competitors each week to track their progress and chat about life, Chinese food and everything in between. Let the games begin.
Common (Mind Power Mixtape, A Beautiful Revolution Pt 1, Hell on Wheels) is a rapper, actor, and writer. Common joins the Armchair Expert to discuss learning to love process, the value of character, and having gratitude for the moment. Common explains how he found strength in individualism and how grateful he is to finally be able to do the things he loves without the pressures of their monetary performance. Dax and Common bond over their parallel lives: their love of Pulp Fiction and Barack Obama, not having masculine figures in their lives, and disastrous first podcast interviews with a significant other. Best friend Aaron Weakley returns for the fact check and Dax & Aaron recount Dax’s worst smelling fart on the school bus.
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Bigfoot.
Brad Grossman is an author, entrepreneur, and creator of the Zeitguide’s Culture Class. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his role as a culture guide and how he seeks out all the interesting information in the world and synthesizes it for his students. Brad explains the inspiring ways companies and individuals are pivoting in order to connect to consumers, how covid has been a magnifier to our systemic problems, and the ways it will help us reboot our sense of humanity. Dax and Brad explore what’s going to happen in 2021, the need to dismantle archaic systems and tweak them in a way that’s more sustainable to humanity.Go to Zeitguide.com and use code “ARMCHERRIES” for 50% off Brad’s first culture class of the year.
Randy Jackson (Name that Tune, American Idol) is a world-renowned musician, record producer, A&R executive, and founder of Unify Health Labs. Randy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being a child in the deep south in the 60s, how he got started playing music, and his desire to live his life through music. He discusses his journey as a studio musician to an A&R executive, the ingredients that make up a star, and his vision of American Idol as the A&R process completely unfolded. Randy and Dax bond over the sexual power of Van Hunt and Dax pleads a defense to jazz-fusion.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the first three-peat Armchair Expert guest and an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, CNN medical correspondent, and author. Sanjay, fresh off receiving his covid-19 vaccination, joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how much we’ve learned this year about human behavior. Sanjay explains the evolution of neurogenesis and why cognitive decline is not inevitable. The two discuss that in order to heal the body you have to heal the mind, the importance of building the resiliency of your brain, and the power exercise has on it. Dax tells Sanjay about Monica’s psilocybin experience and Sanjay tells us that the best thing you can do for your brain is to take a brisk walk with a friend and discuss your problems.
Jackie Tohn (Glow, Best Leftovers Ever, CHiPs) is an actress and musician. Jackie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting into acting in New York at nine-years-old, how she and Kristen became best friends and how being a boundaries-less person has affected her relationships. Jackie opens up about her past boyfriends and how they’ve all become megastars, how much her mom gave up in order to make her dreams come true, and how self-awareness is what separates the assholes from the non-assholes. Jackie explains how she landed a hosting role on Netflix’s Best Leftover’s Ever while Dax explains the cup full of urine in the attic.
On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from 2020.
Join us for our annual holiday party featuring remote guests Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Emmy Raver-Lampman, Bob Mervak and Kristen Bell.
John O. Brennan is a former American intelligence officer who served as the Director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017. John joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the distinctions between the CIA and FBI, his professional route through his career, and serving under six different administrations. John explains what it’s like to be confronted with harsh realities where either course of action has implications, the ebbs and flows of the CIA’s power of persuasion, and the need for ethical intelligence. John opens up about the personal weight of his job, the trickle-down effects of supporting smaller nations, and the ways in which climate change will continue to have serious national security implications. In the fact check, we find out if Miniature Mouse is a good fit for the CIA.
Shawn Mendes is Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer and songwriter. Shawn joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the results of finding success at such an early age, where the main source of his fears and anxieties stem from, and how lockdown has forced him to figure out his own identity. The two explore the ways society is conditioning people to want more and more, how social media has made everything need to be quantified, and the isolation of a musician. Shawn discusses his relationship with Camila and how they both bring humility into one another’s lives, his collaboration with Justin Bieber, and Dax praises him for his manifestation journal. In the fact check, we find out what Hogwarts house Dax belongs to.
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Mole Children.
Dov Fox is Professor of Law and Herzog Endowed Scholar at the University of San Diego School of Law and the host of the podcast Donor 9623. Dov joins the Armchair Expert from his closet to discuss growing up without a father, the effects overcoming adversity had on him as a parent, and cases of reproduction gone awry. The two debate genetic advantages that people are born with, how hard it is to tell your life story without knowing where it begins, and the ethics behind testing for genetic conditions in the reproductive process. Dov and Dax explore what’s okay to want in a child and when it crosses a line while Dax admits he wants to heal and nurture the child in him. And a surprise guest joins us for the fact check.
Natalie Portman is an Academy Award & Golden Globe-winning actress, director, producer, and activist. Natalie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the effect of being a public figure at a young age, how being sexualized that early affected her and how privileged she feels to be able to connect with so many people that she admires. Dax tries to impress Natalie by wearing a Fauci shirt and admits to having a photo of her in his toolbox. Natalie explains her decision to take a break from acting to go to Harvard, how she comforts herself during career lulls, and the impact Star Wars had on her life. In the fact check, Monica takes a personality test.
BONUS EPISODE with Emmanuel Acho is a former NFL player and the author of the New York Times Bestselling book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss that their are huge differences between color and culture, how societally we need to do a better job being proactive instead of reactive, and the communication barriers between the black lives matter and blue lives matter movements. He explains the need to acknowledge opportunity inequality and that proximity breeds care while distance breeds fear.
Scott Kelly is a retired astronaut that set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space. Scott joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to becoming an astronaut and how seeing earth from space really changes your perspective on humanity. Scott explains his structured approach to dealing with isolation, how he was able to compartmentalize fear, and what it’s like living in microgravity. Dax asks Scott some questions about living in space, if he saw any extraterrestrial activities while up there, and if anyone has ever made love in space.
Hillary Clinton is a politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th US secretary of state, a US senator, and First Lady. Hillary joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over not being able to properly take a compliment, the feeling of imposter syndrome, and raising daughters. Hillary discusses significant transitions she went through, what its been like getting to know heroes in her life, and the assumptions and projections people put on her as a public figure. She opens up about losing the 2016 election, feeling the weight of history and expectation, and how difficult of a transition it was to unexpectedly not become president. Hillary discusses how women often compare themselves against impossible standards and that progression is a relay race.
Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the work she does on emotional agility, what it takes for us to be healthy humans, and the dangerous narrative that success equals happiness. Susan explains that emotions are transient, how we need to face them with compassion and how vital accuracy is when evaluating them. She demonstrates how you go about defining your values and how to start creating distance between ourselves and our emotions.
Jewel is a Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Jewel joins the Armchair Expert and talks about growing up in Alaska with no indoor plumbing, singing in bars at a young age, and admits to being a terrible celebrater. She discusses being propositioned in bars & parking lots and how it skewed her idea of men. Jewel reflects on how much of an impact Bob Dylan’s mentorship made on her career, what it was like to sell a million copies every month for a year, and how she ended up millions of dollars in debt. She opens up about mindfulness, her neurological exercise routine, and how she’s learned to deal with anxiety.
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Lizard People
Tristan Harris is a computer scientist, the co-founder & president of the Center for Humane Technology, and co-host of the Your Undivided Attention podcast. Tristan Harris joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the role technology is playing in our lives, how algorithms determine the things we like, and how technology companies need to take on more responsibility. Tristan explains our inability to have trust in a shared information environment, how humans are becoming more unable to choose their own thoughts, and how technology enables us to run away from ourselves. Dax & Tristan discuss how users are more profitable when they’re addicted, anxious, and misinformed and Tristan breaks down the deep dilemma of living in these digital habitats.
Halsey is a Grammy Award-nominated, platinum-selling singer songwriter. Halsey joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over vaping, ranch-style homes, and both having car salesman fathers. Halsey opens up about being bipolar, the effects of that while being in a relationship with an addict, and the impact Mac Miller’s death had on her. Halsey reflects on how she used to use her sexuality and how much more empowered her talents make her feel now. She discusses how writing has turned into a tool for exorcising pain, learning about most life experiences through books first, and Halsey reads one of her new poems for us.
Daniel Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian Formula One racing driver. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting into racing when he was 9 years old, how he stays fit during the race season and rebounding from a poor qualifying round. Dax explains the science behind downforce and g-force, he compliments Daniel on his girthy neck and pitches a race gas scented cologne. Daniel explains how anti-superstitious he is and how it leads to a lack of accountability, how he finds enjoyment before a race and just how important the first 45 seconds of a race is. By the end of the interview, Monica impresses Daniel with the insightfulness of her racing questions.
Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, The Big Bang Theory, 8 Simple Rules) is an actress and producer. Kaley joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her equestrian husband Karl, how he has an Instagram account dedicated to trolling her, and how strong his legs are. Kaley expresses her gratitude for having John Ritter and Katey Sagal as role models early on in her career and how she navigated the success of the Big Bang Theory. The two bond over Dateline and Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee while Dax describes the trailer to her new show in great detail and suggests that Kaley and Kristen start a support group for dog lovers.
Yuval Harari (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) is a historian who lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. Yuval joins the Armchair Expert again to discuss the positive and negative sides of biometric surveillance and the importance of trusting other scientific institutions. Yuval explains the value of understanding how we got where we are today, that revolutions need to be gradual, and how disruptive technologies don’t obey borders. The two discuss how extreme views are much better for grabbing human attention, how algorithms are figuring out how to hack humans, and the problems with believing in free will without considering external manipulation.
Adam Brody (CHiPs, The OC, Gilmore Girls) is an actor, writer, and producer. Adam joins the Armchair Expert to discuss Jack Parsons and the book Strange Angel, his OCD tendencies involving his rearview mirror, and getting scooped up by the golden age of teen television. Adam amazes us with his encyclopedic knowledge, he explains how much of an influence Vince Vaughn had on his acting, and talks about his on-screen three-way with Kristen. Dax & Adam realize they both auditioned for Blues Clues and Dax publicly states that Adam was the best part of CHiPs.
Spooky episode alert! Joseph Laycock is an associate professor of religious studies at Texas State University. Joseph joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things exorcism; the overall belief of demonic possession in America, the unholy trinity of films that influenced belief, and how it’s typically a political phenomenon. Joseph talks about the Salem Witch Trials, the West Memphis Three trial, the McMartin Preschool trial and explains why people tend to tell awful stories during times of upheavals. Dax reminisces on the satanic panic of the 80s and Joseph exclaims that if you’re doing it right, critical thinking should hurt.
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, True Detective) is a Golden Globe & Academy Award-Winning actor, author, and producer. Matthew joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the red and yellow lights in his life that he turned into green lights, why he loves delusional optimism so much, and the art of running downhill. Dax and Matthew bond over having to navigate fighting their fathers, how they aren’t who they are without the love of their mothers, and growing up around “by hook or by crook” ethics. Matthew tells the horror story of his year abroad in Australia and Dax confirms that the two do indeed have rhythm.
Erin Geiger Smith is a freelance reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and author of Thank You for Voting: The Past, Present, and Future of Voting. Erin joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the history of democracy, the rise of the electoral college, and how voting has evolved over time. Erin explains the ways in which voter suppression is still happening today, the systematic issues we face and how democracy works best if everybody shows up. Dax asks Erin about voter fraud and the voting statistics between different demographics. In the fact check, Dax and Monica have a debate about issues on this year’s ballot.
Chelsea Handler (Evolution, Chelsea Lately, The Chelsea Handler Show) is a comedian, actress, writer, television host, producer and activist. Chelsea sits down the Armchair Expert to discuss how standup comedy is evolving, how she can tell by body type what drug a person can handle, and she admits that being known for insulting people puts them at unease when she first meets them. Chelsea discusses her path to realizing she wasn’t a very empathetic person, how people should look at change with open-mindedness instead of fear, and how she wanted to attack the issue of white privilege from her own perspective. Dax admits he doesn’t have as thick of skin as Chelsea while she explains the desire to keep putting herself out there in vulnerable ways.
BONUS EPISODE with Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Isabel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss caste systems in the United States, the patterns of regression in civil rights in this country and giving someone the basic benefit of the doubt. She explains assumptions of competence, how embedded assumptions are and that caste systems aren’t only about race.
Eric Lander is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician. He was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project and is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Eric joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work with the Human Genome project, the practical applications they’ve found, and how collaborative biology has become. Eric describes how the Broad Institute came to be, how their data is starting to uncover connections between different diseases, and that we have a lot of challenges ahead that are going to take science to solve. Dax takes a few swings and misses with his 25-year-old biology memory and Eric explains why humility has to be a part of every bit of science.
Sara Gilbert (The Conners, The Talk, Roseanne) is an Emmy-Award nominated actress, director, and producer. Sara joins the Armchair Expert and discusses how she handled success at 13 years old, the difficulty of balancing her personal and public life at that age, and her time spent at Yale. Sara admits that conflict seems to always find her, the huge crush she had on Corky Nemac, and what inspired her to create The Talk. Dax asks her what made her not give up on the Conners and Sara explains the connection the show has to real life for its’ viewers. Best friend Aaron Weakly returns and helps double fact check Dax.
Bob Woodward is an American investigative journalist that started working for the Washington Post in 1971 and currently holds the title of associate editor. Dax discusses how bipartisan Bob’s reporting has been over the years, his rigorous search of the truth and how Bob has covered 20% of the presidents this country has had. Bob talks about the difference between a good faith f*ck up and a bad faith f*ck up, getting spontaneous calls from the president when he was writing his book, and the relationship that developed out of that process. The two discuss the handling of the virus and the inability to put together a cohesive plan. And most importantly, Dax asks who more accurately captured Bob in film, Robert Redford or Will Ferrell.
Jon Bon Jovi is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Jon joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the sustainability of his music career, the two share in the false sense of confidence they once had, and Jon admits how crazy it is that he’s been making records longer than he hasn’t. Jon tells the story of his mob meeting with Howard Stern and how Bruce Springsteen joined him on stage when he was in high school. Dax praises Jon on all of the work the JBJ Soul Foundation (www.jbjsf.org) is doing and we have the most special fact check ever with special guest, best friend Aaron Weakly.
Aly Raisman is a two time American Olympic gymnast. Aly talks to the Armchair Expert about being a survivor of abuse, growing up in a sport where perfection is key and opening up about her mental health journey. The two discuss their experiences with trauma, the aftermath of sharing their stories publicly and staying strong despite potential triggers along the way. They talk about the lack of resources and support available to Olympians post-career and the importance of finding a strong sense of self outside of gymnastics. Aly and Monica also bond over the Magnificent Seven.
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides) is an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-winning screenwriter, director, producer, and actress. Sofia chats with the Armchair Expert about spending her childhood on set, how comfortable she always felt there and how she fought becoming a director because it seemed expected. She explains how she never felt oppressed by her father’s success in film, her time living in Paris and what it was like trying to track down Bill Murray. Sofia discusses how Kirsten Dunst became her muse and Dax asks Sofia for advice on how not to ruin his daughters’ lives.
Day 7. Dax gives the Armcherries a personal update. Recorded on September 21, 2020.
David Farrier is a New Zealand investigative journalist known for his documentary Tickled and documentary series Dark Tourist. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things conspiracy theories, from QAnon to Wayfairgate to Flat Earthers. The two discuss how these conspiracies happen, what makes people susceptible to them, and how to have constructive discussions with their believers. Dax confesses how sad he is that he can’t hang out with David every day.
Sara Bareilles is a Grammy Award-winner and Tony and Emmy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actress and author. Sara chats with the Armchair Expert about her awkwardness as a kid and how she found her place in community theater. Dax geeks out about the two attending UCLA at the same time and Sara tells him how she wasted a year of school credits abroad. She discusses her obscure overshares on stage, the bipolar lifestyle of musicians on the road, and how she feels a little like a superhero because she had covid already.
Leah Plunkett is a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is the author of the book, Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. Leah chats with the Armchair Expert about the pitfalls of sharing kids’ data on social media, the ways in which tech companies commodify human data and how she implements restrictions in her own house. Dax wonders how to balance the positive and negative sides of tech and Leah talks about using improv in teaching law. The two talk about possible solutions moving forward and Leah teaches Dax and Monica a new word.
Keith Urban is a four-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. Keith chats with the Armchair Expert about adjusting to Nashville from Australia, why he couldn’t get signed to a record deal and his unique meld of sounds. Dax wonders why songs by Australian singers often sound American and Keith talks about wanting approval from his father. They talk about Keith’s time on American Idol, having many years of professional struggle before success and how he found sobriety after marriage.
BONUS EPISODE with Susan Burton, the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, a non-profit that provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women. Susan chats with the Armchair Expert about her heartbreaking story – battling addiction, losing her son, and her time spent within the prison system. Dax and Susan discuss the control that prisons seek and how often prisoners are survivors of trauma. Susan talks about her road to recovery and how it introduced her to the concept of service. She discusses her journey to becoming a resource for women coming out of prison and all of the amazing work A New Way of Life is currently doing.
Tom Brady is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. Tom joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his journey to healthy dieting, valuing skills that often get undervalued and starting football in high school. Dax asks what it was like to leave the Patriots after such a long career and Tom talks about having a chip on his shoulder. The two discuss Tom's approach to bettering himself and the identity shift he will inevitably experience post-retirement.
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) is an American actor, animator, writer, producer, director, comedian, and singer. Seth chats with the armchair expert about how he first found animation, luck vs. effort and how he handles criticism. Dax brings up a lingering insecurity about Family Guy and Seth talks about the first time he drew a nude in college. The two talk about the future of animation, Seth’s involvement in philanthropy and Dax is disappointed they haven’t read any of the same books.
Lenore Skenazy is the president of Let Grow, a non-profit promoting childhood independence and resilience, and the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement. Lenore discusses the generational differences in growing up, how unrealistic the current standards are for being a good parent, and the importance of play. Dax asks Lenore to dispel the myth of common childhood dangers and Lenore explains the negative notion of the phrase “stranger danger.” The two discuss frequency distortion, how resilient kids are, and Lenore unveils her husband’s crow box.
Jason Bateman (Ozark, Arrested Development, Silver Spoons) is an American actor, director, producer and returning guest of Armchair Expert. Jason discusses his new podcast Smartless, his fears about coming across as overly opinionated and how much he’s willing to divulge on it. Dax owns his own insecurities and asks why they don’t hang out more, while Jason admits that he needs to work on his rest face. In the fact check, Dax and Monica go through and answer the Proust character questionnaire.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is an author, Lutheran minister and public theologian. Nadia chats with the Armchair Expert to have a discussion on one of life's most challenging topics: religion. Nadia discusses the evolution of her faith, the beauty of grace and unconventional tradition. Dax wonders how she, as a femininst, can reconcile the lack of females in the church and Nadia talks about the danger of promise rings. The two talk about sobriety, community vs. faith and whether Jesus is the son of God.
Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy, Old School, Catch Me If You Can) is an American actress, director, and producer. Ellen chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up in blue collar Boston, her relationship with women and proving her worth. Dax asks about the impact of losing her mother at age 4 and Ellen talks about a few iconic movies she was cut out of. The two talk about Ellen's public salary negotiations and the pros and cons of being on a show for 17 seasons.
Bill Gates is an American entrepreneur, software developer, investor, and philanthropist. Bill chats with the Armchair Expert about being fascinated by advancements in history, balancing work/marriage/fatherhood and his eternal optimism. Dax wonders if it's possible to be simultaneously sweet and demanding and Bill talks about his love of the movie, Spy Game. The two talk about the critical role of vaccinations, whether tech entrepreneurs deserve to be questioned by the government and their mutual love of Diet Coke.
Sean Penn (Milk, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, I Am Sam, Into the Wild) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, author and humanitarian. Sean chats with the Armchair Expert about recognizing limitations, the freedom he finds in writing books and the impact of cancel culture. Dax wonders what drove Sean toward humanitarian work and Sean talks about the human desire for wanderlust. The two talk about the point at which assets become embarrassments, their mutual love of Bukowski and Sean's disapproval of insincerity.
BONUS EPISODE with Michael Tubbs (the 79th and current mayor of Stockton, CA) is the second installment in a monthly series on dissecting the Black experience in America. Michael chats with the Armchair Expert about becoming the youngest mayor in Stockton’s history and the programs he developed to reduce gun violence and homicides in Stockton. He discusses the impact of his father’s imprisonment on his life and his realization that while people have the freedom to make choices, those choices are often contextualized by an environment in which they have no control. Dax then argues with Mayor Tubbs about universal basic income and Michael explains how an income floor can allow for people to take a risk and bet on themselves.
Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dax and Atul discuss the personalities of surgeons and the use of checklists to remedy the complexity of their responsibilities. Dax tells a scary hospice story and the two discuss how you determine your priorities as you reach the later stages of life. In the fact check, Monica & Dax discuss training crows to do complex tasks.
Colin Jost (SNL) is an American comedian, actor and writer. Colin chats with the Armchair Expert about how he got into comedy, his approach to managing and he talks us through some of his favorite sightseeing castles. Dax wonders if his experience at Harvard was like Hogwarts and Colin shares one of his many poop stories. The two talk about Colin’s contribution to the Dave Chappelle Mark Twain Awards ceremony, he speculates on why he’s so private and he talks about how he views the world as an observer rather than a participant.
Brad Edwards is a nationally recognized Board Certified Civil Trial attorney who specializes in providing civil representation for children, victims of sexual abuse, and victims of violent crimes. He is most notable for representing over 50 girls in the Jeffrey Epstein case. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the details of the Jeffrey Epstein case, the ways in which he manipulated his victims and he recalls the times he spent with Jeffrey one-on-one. Dax asks Brad about his opinion on Epstein’s death and Brad talks about the hurdles of this case. The two talk about the ways income inequality played a role in the power dynamic, Ghislaine Maxwell’s involvement, and his book, Relentless Pursuit: My Fight For The Victims of Jeffrey Epstein.
Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Smash, Central Park) is an American Broadway, TV, Film actor and singer. Leslie chats with the Armchair Expert about his acting approach in Hamilton, achieving his singular goal of being in RENT on Broadway and struggling with the concept of being the “token”. Dax asks about the unique dynamic of being married to a fellow actress and Leslie confesses about his time as a grocery store employee. The two talk about cancel culture, Leslie talks about his commitment to salary parity and Monica and Dax have a disgusting/interesting debate in the fact check.
Angela Duckworth is an American academic, psychologist, MacArthur Genius grant winner and the co-host of the podcast No Stupid Questions. She is the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control. Angela chats with the Armchair Expert about the components of grit, her inclination to study achievement and the amorphous quality to intelligence. Dax talks about fulfillment vs. success and Angela talks about the imperative of intentional role modeling. The two discuss objectivism in The Fountainhead, the detriment of comparison and Angela evaluates Dax and Monica's grit.
Dave Franco (Neighbors, The Disaster Artist, Now You See Me) is an American actor and director. Dave chats with the Armchair Expert about being a first time director, growing up to artistic parents and dealing with his perfectionism. Dax asks if Dave hates talking about his brother and Dave tells his version of the Alison Brie/Dave Franco love story. The two talk about home-sharing, Dave debunks some of Dax’s theories and a special guest joins for the end.
Travis Pastrana an American professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won X Games gold medals in supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. Travis chats with the Armchair Expert about how he started riding dirt bikes at age 4, his risk/reward philosophy on life and his goal to make motocross safer and more accessible. Dax asks about addiction in the sport and Travis talks about his harrowing injuries. The two discuss having kids in conjunction with dangerous hobbies and Travis talks about the future of his profession.
Rob Corddry (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Children’s Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine, Ballers) is an American actor and comedian. Rob chats with the Armchair Expert about how he was seduced by Dax many years ago, his experience being bullied in Boston and why he’d “do great in jail”. Dax praises Rob for being a comedian’s comedian and Rob performs a Shakespearean monologue. Rob talks about his commitment to productivity, he shares his inspiration for Children’s Hospital and the two talk about their new show, Top Gear America.
David Sinclair is an Australian biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard known for his research on aging and longevity mechanisms. David chats with the Armchair Expert on his field of advancing the age of an organism, the stigma around aging research and his existing accomplishment of reversing the age of eyes in mice. Dax asks why humans have evolved to die and David explains the epigenome and it’s part in longevity. The two talk about the ethical questions surrounding this issue and David explains the potential for erasing diseases eventually leading to 300 and 400 year long life spans.
John Legend is an American singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and philanthropist. John chats with the armchair expert about skipping multiple grades as a kid and how music saved him. He talks about his claim to fame working on Lauryn Hill’s record in college and he explains why his hair still looks so groomed in quarantine. Dax wonders if having kids has changed John’s career and John talks about why he participated in the R Kelly documentary. Dax and John talk about their histories of cheating and John talks about his creative process.
Jud Brewer is an American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author. He studies the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using fMRI technology and has used his findings to treat addictions. Jud chats with the Armchair Expert about contentment vs. excitement, how meditation dissolves the sense of self and the biological reasons humans have cravings. Dax talks about how food scientists flavor foods to lose their taste and Jud gives Dax and Monica a test on openness. The two talk about the neurological reasons we behave the way we do and Monica reveals a big update in the fact check.
Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl, Shutter Island, The Newsroom) is an English actress and screenwriter. Emily chats with the Armchair Expert about her newfound realization of her social anxiety, her mother’s patronization and overcoming a lazy eye in her first big movie. Dax wonders what it’s like working for Aaron Sorkin and Emily Is forced to define many British words. The two talk about the power of delivering a message via horror movie and Emily talks about her early nepotistic start in show business.
BONUS EPISODE with Jennifer Eberhardt (social psychologist who is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University) is the first in a monthly series on dissecting the Black experience in America. Jennifer chats with the Armchair Expert about her work in police reform, her personal experiences with racism and the biological impact of cultural biases. Dax asks if there are any model police departments and Jennifer shares a story of when she got arrested. She talks about having “the talk” with her sons and she shares the details of many psychological experiments she did on race and discrimination.
Nina Vasan is a professor at Stanford University and the Founder and Executive Director of Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation. She is the Chief Medical Officer of Real, a new women's mental health company and a psychiatrist at Silicon Valley Executive Psychiatry, a boutique concierge clinical for executives, entrepreneurs, and elite performers. Nina chats with the Armchair Expert about her personal experience with anxiety/depression, the continued prevalence of stigma and the loop of actions, thoughts and emotions. Dax asks about the concern of treating addiction with psychiatric drugs and Nina discusses how technology can aid in this problem. They talk about mental health as a three-pronged bio, psycho and social endeavor and they discuss the tenets of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, Old School, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) is an American actress. Juliette chats with the Armchair Expert about wanting to be seen as her current self rather than her past self, she talks about her early struggle with fame and how acting course corrected her wayward path. Dax asks what’s it’s like to be a part of an evergreen holiday movie and Juliette talks about the distraction of beauty in acting. The two discuss the phenomena of Natural Born Killers, her pull towards music and her new show, I Know This Much Is True.
Jeff Sachs an American economist, academic, public policy analyst and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor. He is known as one of the world's leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. Jeff chats with the Armchair Expert about his career in international economics, what he’s learned from advising other countries and his propensity to model Scandinavia’s middle way economic model. Dax asks about communism in theory vs. in practice and Jeff implores us to take care of one another. The two talk about how the history of WWI has led to today and Jeff describes ways in which we couldn’t have a more balanced economy.
Blake Griffin is an American professional basketball player for the NBA the Detroit Pistons. Blake chats with the armchair expert about growing up playing basketball with his dad and brother, learning to be a leader amongst players who are older than him and he talks through his game-day routine. Dax asks about Blake’s experience with racism and Blake discusses managing money. They talk about balancing egos and Blake shares what he learned after enduring an injury early in his career.
BONUS EPISODE! Malcolm Gladwell joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the upcoming season of The Revisionist History podcast.
Vivek Murthy is an American physician and former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. Vivek chats with the armchair expert about the health implications of loneliness, how his childhood as an outsider made him more compassionate and why he became interested in public policy. Dax wonders about the dilemma between liberty and equality on health legislation and Vivek talks about the biggest boat rescue in human history. He talks about what he learned from a patient who won the lottery and the lessons he’s taken from patients on their deathbeds.
Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City. Adam and Mike D sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the nascent beginnings of the band, the protective nature of a group dynamic and working with legends early in their careers. Dax makes predictions about Mike and Adam's life and they discuss the conflation of personal identity with band identity. They talk about what it feels like to lose a band member and Adam is the first to introduce Zoom chat to the Armchair Expert recording history.
Alanis Morissette is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Alanis chats with the Armchair Expert about finding music as a young kid, the concept of "deserving" fame and the attributes of being a highly sensitive person. Dax is hung up on one of her song lyrics and Alanis shares what it's like to be a principal's daughter. The two talk about shedding the desire for loyalty, they dissect the word perverted and they talk discuss the fundamental difference between Canadian and Americans.
Ibram X. Kendi is an American author and historian who teaches at American University. From July 2020, Kendi will join Boston University to launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Ibram sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the definitions of racism vs. anti-racism, the importance of acknowledging moments of racism in your life and his own racist beliefs that he has worked on shedding. Dax wonders if it’s realistic to ask people to prioritize issues that don’t directly affect them and Ibram equates fighting racists ideas to fighting addictions. They talk about the police system, how to educate children and the unspoken element of gun deaths in America.
Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale, Get Out) is an American actor and political activist. Bradley chats with the armchair expert about growing up in a Quaker household, the impact of social change through storytelling and the three thoughts that flood his brain when receiving direction. Dax asks about the events that led to Bradley writing episodes for The West Wing and Bradley talks about his experience of playing complex characters. The two talk about professions that draw arrogant people and their mutual desire to say the worst thing at the worst moment.
Heather McGhee is an American political commentator, political strategist, currently a distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive U.S. think tank. Heather sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss race in America - her takeaway from going to a white school but living in a black neighborhood and her theory that racism comes at a cost to all races. Dax asks about the economic impact of systemic racism and Heather talks about her epiphany watching Black Panther. They talk about colorism, the history of police interfacing with the black community and the hope of change.
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer prize winning author, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Jon chats with the Armchair Expert about this early fascination with politics, attending Ronald Reagan's inauguration as a young boy and the importance of delineating historical figures from saints. Jon states his position on confederate statues and Dax asks what factors distinguished his pulitzer prize winning book from the others. The two talk about how age has affected their career outlook and they debate the impact of Christianity in the modern world.
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike and Molly, Spy, Identity Thief) is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. Melissa chats with her old pal, the armchair expert, about how she found the Groundlings, tanking her Bridesmaids audition and her hatred of e-mail. Dax commends Melissa for continuing to work with old friends and Melissa talks about her love of renovating homes. The two discuss the dream of Saturday Night Live, the unifying experience of seeing comedies in a theatre and they reminisce on an old comedy show they did together in which one audience member (in a 400 seat theatre) came to see it.
Dr. Laurie Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Laurie chats with the armchair expert to discuss 5 ways to increase happiness during quarantine, the neuroscience behind deep breaths and why studying animals is better than studying humans. Dax connects Laurie's principals to the principals of AA and Laurie talks about the negative impact of academic grades. The two discuss the scientific effects of giving and the connection between anthropology and psychology.
Curtis Jackson better known as 50 Cent is an American rapper, actor, producer, and entrepreneur. 50 cent chats with the Armchair Expert about towing the line between Curtis and 50 Cent, hustling at age 12 and having to make the distinction between the one who sells and the one who consumes. Dax asks about masculinity and 50 Cent talks about being a lightweight. The two talk about their instinctual guard against people and why it’s important to have a career that evolves over time.
Rajiv Shah is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a former American government official, physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 2010–2015 under President Obama. He also held many leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Raj chats with the Armchair Expert about the economics of the healthcare system, leading the U.S response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Rockefeller Foundation's commitment to expand Covid-19 testing. Dax asks what he learned from Bill and Melinda Gates and Raj talks about having to address the crisis in Haiti only 6 days into the job. They two talk about America's interest in expanding American values around the globe, vaccinations and the importance of agriculture in humanitarian efforts.
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, End Of Watch, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Superstore) is an American actress, voice actress, producer, and director. America chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss her feelings of insecurity when she won her Emmy, growing up being told she wouldn’t make it and her learned skill of molding stereotypes into true representations. Dax wonders if it can feel burdensome to be the voice of a community and America talks about her identity crisis at the conclusion of Ugly Betty. Dax and America discuss raising children in a place of privilege and the newfound proximity amongst women in the industry.
Dan Heath is an American bestselling author, speaker and fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Dan chats with the Armchair Expert about why certain ideas stick, the emotionality behind urban legends and the benefit of thinking upstream. Dax implores those to think about the financial benefits to upstream social reform and Dan explains that every system is designed for its outcome. The two talk about systemic preventions that have a lasting impact, getting caught in a bad plan loop and they commiserate about being older dads.
Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road, Big Little Lies, High Fidelity) is an American actress and singer. Zoë chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between living with her mom versus her dad and her experience working with many powerful women on Big Little Lies. Dax checks himself on asking a potentially misogynistic question and Zoë outs Dax on being obsessed with her mom. The two talk about how Zoë caught Dax is in a compliment paradox the first time they met, they bond over Koo Koo Roo and they debate whether or not to refer to the superhero as Batman or The Batman.
David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, television personality and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group. David chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up Korean American, his first time eating ramen in Japan and how he found his way into cooking. Dax talks about elitism in food and David discusses how depression led him to open Momofuku. The two talk about self-medicating, the responsibility to share one’s painful experiences and the importance of asking for help.
Rob Lowe (The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation) is an American actor, producer, and director. Rob chats with the Armchair Expert about moving to Malibu as a child and feeling out of place, his time and ultimate departure from The West Wing and going to high school with many famous faces before they were famous. Dax asks about his navigation through negative public moments and Rob talks about his experience on The Outsiders. The two talk about sobriety and Rob’s foresight that caused him to move away from Hollywood.
Glennon Doyle is an American author known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior and bestseller Carry On, Warrior. Glennon chats with the Armchair Expert about her struggle with addiction, falling in love with a stranger and her realization about forgiveness. Glennon talks about overcoming societal memos and Dax questions if following your personal truth is a realistic goal. They discuss the responsibility of highly sensitive people and why control and love are inherently at odds.
Sheryl Crow is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actress. She joins the armchair expert to discuss starting her career later in life, how breast cancer changed her perspective and her pattern of attraction. Dax wonders about her experience on the Michael Jackson Bad Tour and Sheryl talks about the physiological impact of music. The two talk about meditation, Sheryl declares she’s done making albums and Monica and Dax discuss their enneagram in the fact check.
Jessica Lahey is an American teacher and author. She writes the bi-weekly 'Parent-Teacher Conference' advice column for the New York Times, is a regular contributor to the Atlantic and wrote the book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica chats with the Armchair Expert about the importance of childhood autonomy, the level of parental involvement to maximize childhood growth, and the profundity of the word 'yet' when engaging with children. Dax asks about the concept of "desirable difficulties" and Jessica explains why the internet hasn't replaced the need for learning facts. The two discuss loving your children for who they are; not who you want them to be, how to commit information to long term memory and allowing kids to have ownership of their knowledge.
In Part 10: Monica and Jess love each other, M and J chat with Kristen and Dax for their final episode. The four discuss what Monica and Jess learned from the experience, how they've grown and the things they can't un-learn after this journey. Monica talks about a newfound relationship to her narrative and Jess has a growing acceptance of addiction. Dax wonders what the big take-aways have been, Kristen praises M and J's vulnerability and the four verbally "write" their relationship manuals. Monica and Jess say farewell to this adventure and hello to whatever's next.
Ed Helms (The Daily Show, The Office, The Hangover) is an American actor, comedian and musician. Ed chats with the Armchair Expert about his love of the banjo, feeling guilty about leaving The Daily Show and being self admittedly repressed. Dax asks about Ed's open heart surgery and Ed tells the story of having food poisoning when shooting The Hangover. The two talk about the loss of control that comes with fame, Ed’s new movie- Coffee and Kareem and Dax recalls escaping a career-ending situation in Thailand.
Andrew Marantz is a journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. Andrew sits down with the Armchair Expert (pre social distancing) to discuss working as a journalist and specifically his time researching internet trolls and the direct ways in which they impact society. He talks about his experience getting to know many white nationalists and the revelation they aren’t always people you would expect. Dax wonders if there is an effective way to attack hateful ideologies without forgoing free speech and Andrew encourages social media companies to implement more foresight.
In Part 9: Monica & Jess love Love Addiction, M and J chat with author and the Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, Dr. Alex Katehakis. Dr. Alex talks about the tenants of unmanageability and addiction. Monica wonders if you can be a love addict who’s never fallen in love and Jess asks questions about post relationship nostalgia. Dr. Alex declares both Monica and Jess have some dissociative tendencies in relationships and adhere to fantasy as an outlet. Monica expresses her fears of being replaceable and Dr.Alex thinks Jess uses sex to mitigate anxiety. The three talk about childhood abandonment and how that has trickled into adulthood and she gives both Monica and Jess 90 day challenges to take into the world.
Alicia Keys is an American musician, singer, composer, actress and pianist. Alicia joins the Armchair Expert to discuss overcoming resentments, her pattern of people pleasing and releasing the notion that being overworked equals success. Dax relates to Alicia's love of her grandparents and Alicia talks about a life lesson that taught her the necessity of boundaries. The two talk about fear of abandonment, the mix of work and friendship and Dax proves to have good phone game. Alicia’s new book More Myself: A Journey is out now.
Stephen Dubner is an author, journalist, and podcast/radio host. He is co-author of the Freakonomics book series and host of Freakonomics Radio. Stephen sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss being drawn to counterintuitive thinking, his journey to Judaism and looking at politics through an objective lens. Dax asks about Stephen’s childhood and Stephen talks about popular Freakonomics pieces. The two weave in and out of many topics including the prevalence of artificial insemination in turkeys, the uptick in pedestrian deaths and the potential of eating humans.
In Part 8: Monica & Jess Love Cock Buffets, M and J welcome Dan Savage (author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist) to the attic via video chat. Dan delineates many differences between dating in the gay community vs. the straight one. He talks to Monica about why women are engrained to "vet a guy before they bed a guy" and talks to Jess about transgressive behaviors in the gay community. He discusses the notion that we meet a few people in life who are .68 and we make the choice to round them up to a 1. He talks about the equality complex and how we need to give ourselves permission to have successful short term relationships. Monica talks to Sam on the phone and relays to Jess what they talked about and Dan takes the challenges to a new level of scary.
Joy Bryant (For Life, Parenthood, Get Rich or Die Tryin') is an American actress. Joy returns to Armchair Expert and sits down with her ex-TV husband to discuss her new obsession with duck, living bi-coastal and the parameters of when she wears a headscarf. Dax tries to induct two new people to the soul spectrum and Joy revisits the conversation of house note vs. house payment. The two talk about whether traumatic backgrounds give you a pass for problematic behavior, they discuss the extremities of the societal pendulum swing and Dax updates Joy on a recent change of opinion.
Lydia Denworth is a science journalist and author. She is the contributing editor for Scientific American and writes for Psychology Today. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time. Lydia sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about the biology of friendship, the science of social bonding and the evidence that we are social animals. Dax asks for suggestions to aid social development for kids who struggle to make friendships and Lydia details how friendship impacts mortality and longevity. They also touch on Lydia's work in the Deaf community, quality vs. quantity in friendships and Lydia explains why Monica is Exhibit A in the necessity of friendship.
In Part 7: Monica & Jess Love Goblins with Esther Perel, M and J are thrilled to welcome psychotherapist, Esther Perel to the attic. Esther makes the distinction between love and desire and she reminds them that having a lot of sex with many partners is equivalent to avoiding sex- both are methods to avoid rejection. Esther encourages Monica to let go of the goblin on her shoulder and she removes the phrase "losing feelings for" from the relationship vocabulary. The three talk about "want" vs. "should" and Esther is intrigued by Jess's interactions with "out of my league guy". Esther does exercises with M and J on how to spark desire and she gently tells them if they don't let go of their narratives, regardless of who they date, they will always be dating their narrative.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta (American neurosurgeon and medical reporter) joins us for an informative episode on COVID-19. Sanjay takes time out of his incredible busy schedule to answer Dax and Monica’s questions about the pandemic. He hits many topics such as immunity, correct precautions, the danger of overwhelming our medical system, human ingenuity in times of crisis and balancing honesty and hope.
Tom Silver is a Hypnotherapist with over 35 years of experience developing powerful, proven therapeutic hypnosis methods. Tom sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his relationship with sobriety, how he stumbled into hypnosis and the depth of the subconscious mind. Dax asks about the distinction between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist and Tom talks about his experience hypnotizing Guillermo on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. In the second half of the episode, Tom hypnotizes Miniature Mouse. He hooks her up to an EEG and they note the difference in her brain waves in and out of hypnosis. Dax and Monica have another long-distance fact check in which they dissect the experience. Visit Tom’s website at www.tomsilver.com.
In Part 6: Monica & Jess Love Tough Love with Patti Stanger, M and J welcome the Millionaire Matchmaker to the attic. Patti is direct and no-nonsense when giving her opinion on Monica and Jess’s love lives. She asks about their dream men, she prods for details about Monica’s fantasies and believes Jess wants to be chased. She talks about the differences between “beta” and “alpha” partners, differences between matchmaking in gay vs. straight communities and how she believes money and love are more connected than people want to believe. She encourages Monica to get more in touch with her sexuality and discusses the concept of “out of your league” with Jess. At the end of the episode, Patti doles out challenges that terrify both Monica and Jess.
Lennon Parham (Playing House, Veep, Bless This Mess) is an American actress, comedian and improviser. Lennon sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in the deep south, feeling like she couldn't find "her people", and the balance of holding on to your personal dream while in a relationship. Dax praises Lennon on her work on Bless this Mess and Lennon talks about the experience of creating her own show. The two talk about questionable 80's songs, new ideas for the yearly hot bodies calendar and Dax and Monica do a long distance fact check.
Adam Mosseri is the current CEO of Instagram. Adam sits down in the attic to talk about how he landed a job at Facebook, the responsibility of social media and the rise of the individual. Dax wonders if Mark Zuckerberg likes McDonalds and Adam talks through the reasoning behind the hiding likes trial. The two discuss how Facebook got intertwined with Cambridge Analytica, designing platforms to have a certain energy and Dax thinks men's preferences boil down to circles.
In Part 5: Monica and Jess Love Getting Called Out on Their Bullshit with Dr. Drew, M and J invite the esteemed addiction medicine specialist and personality Dr. Drew Pinsky to the attic. Dr. Drew cuts right to the chase asking Jess about his relationship to mania, asking Monica about family trauma and he calls both of them out on negating themselves. He talks about removing expectations and how our country puts pathological love on a pedestal. He discusses neurological wiring regarding attachment styles and asks about Monica’s sexual history. The two are assigned a very interesting challenge at the end of the episode.
In this episode, Dax invites Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick) into the attic to discuss their obsession with male bodies. Dax remains shirtless through the duration of this episode while the three dissect childhood insecurities that led to this predilection, their opinions of the perfect male body, body dysmorphia, societal influences on females vs. males, and not being in on the joke. Rob mentions the high point when a stranger wanted to take a shirtless picture of him and Kumail reveals a tidbit about his abs. Monica commends the three for talking openly and vulnerably.
BJ Fogg is an author and social science research associate at Stanford. BJ sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his approach to changing behavior, growing up in the Mormon faith and his new book Tiny Habits. Dax commends BJ's approach of habit building by stating "after I blank, I will blank" and BJ talks about overcoming a childhood condition. The two discuss the behavior grid, lowering the bar on aspiration and technology in regards to behavior.
In Part 4: Monica and Jess Love Therapy with Harry the Therapist, M and J invite Harry - Kristen and Dax's couples therapist, to the attic. Harry specializes in both personal and couples therapy and Kristen and Dax have credited Harry for giving them the tools for relationship longevity. But today he brings his expertise to Monica and Jess's love lives. Harry wonders if Monica has any unresolved parental issues and he encourages Jess to listen to his small inner voice. He provides a few Harry rules for approaching a forever relationship and reminds M and J that we are all a work in progress. Monica and Jess talk about their challenges from last week and the realization that these challenges have nothing to do with the other person - it’s all about personal growth.
Whitney Cummings (Whitney, Two Broke Girls, Chelsea Lately) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, producer, writer, director, and podcaster. Whitney sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her time in Al-Anon, her need to people please and the first time she met Dax at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Dax asks about her workaholism and Whitney talks about growing up in an isolated environment. The two talk about the pros and cons of roasts, manifesting your fears and Monica discusses her new medical condition in the fact check.
Peggy Orenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy and Boys & Sex. Peggy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her research in talking to young boys, why parents need to be open with their kids about sexual realities and the impact of pornography. Dax asks how boys can stand up to injustice without losing their social capital and Peggy talks about the uncoupling of pleasure and sex. The two talk about the double standards that exist in the way we perceive young males and young females, how gay communities navigate sex and the misconceptions boys and girls hold about the opposite gender.
In Part 3: Monica and Jess Love Motherly Advice with Kristen Bell, M and J invite their mom to the attic. Using her mother's intuition, Kristen warns Jess on the falsity of butterflies, they discuss the prevalence of blocking people on apps and Kristen asks Jess about the rigidity of tops and bottoms in the gay dating community. She encourages Monica to externalize her sexuality, she tells a story of a friend who leaves her underwear at bars and Monica reveals a recent fantasy slip. Kristen talks about her own dating patterns - testing her partners and dealing with jealousy. The three discuss fidelity, knowing one's value and Kristen assigns the most extreme challenges yet.
Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch, Jobs, No Strings Attached, That 70s Show) is an American actor, producer, and entrepreneur. Ashton returns to the attic to discuss new decade resolutions, his goal to eliminate child pornography from the Internet and his interest in improving the foster care system. Dax talks about working with Ashton on The Ranch and Ashton talks about his love of a live audience. The two talk about preparing for the apocalypse, intention versus perception and appreciating counterintuitive data.
Armchair Expert Live from Los Angeles at UCLA. February 1st, 2020.
In Part 2: Monica and Jess Love Boys who like Christmas, M and J have one solo episode (before they bring in experts) where they dive deeper into their histories. They discuss their experiences completing last week’s challenge. Jess lived in fear all week that he ruined his challenge and Monica adds “needs to like Christmas” to her list. Jess talks about having secret moments in his youth with other boys while openly having a girlfriend and Monica goes through some of her boy-crazy artifacts. The two discuss feeling on the outside of normal and craving experiences just to feel “in the club”. They realize the amount of similarities in their backgrounds. Jess and Monica give each other challenges to complete by the following week.
Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men, Glow) is an American actress. She sits down with the armchair expert to discuss the experience of filming Mad Men and Community simultaneously, why she doesn't like WWE being referred to as "fake" and mental illness in her family. Dax asks how she met her husband and Alison talks about the decision to do nudity. The two discuss why humans are inclined to protect bad behavior, the merits of apple eating and the science of blackouts.
In Part 1: Monica and Jess Love Boys with Dax Shepard, M and J sit down with the Armchair Expert. Dax knows Monica and Jess better than anyone and he uses his previous knowledge to help diagnose individual and collective dating patterns. He asks Jess about addiction, his propensity for sex, “dating” rituals and he asks why Jess isn’t leading with his superpower: personality. He talks to Monica about her tendency to overanalyze, her pattern of wanting people she can’t have and not being attracted to people who find her attractive. Dax gives tips on how to navigate this social experiment and he gives M and J a challenge to complete by the following week.
Ezra Klein is an American journalist, blogger, and political commentator who co-founded Vox. Ezra sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the current state of polarization, how liberty and equality can work in tandem and the impact of media on the world. Dax asks about his debate with Sam Harris and Ezra details the prevalence of NIMBY-ism. The two talk about the effects of political transparency, the misconception about identity politics and the pros and cons of universal basic income.
Monica and Jess Love Boys is a 10 episode series brought to you by the Armchair Expert that follows the relationship struggles of two opposites. Jess, who dates too much and Monica who dates too little. They approach relationships from opposing ends but quickly realize how the underlying issues are universal. Jess dates in the gay community while Monica dates in the straight one. They get to deep dive not only into individual patterns but societal ones as well in the different dating scenes. Through meeting with different experts (therapists, doctors, friends in successful relationships, relationship professionals and the armchair expert himself), they explore and uncover traps and patterns that we all fall into as humans and they ask the age old question- why do we do what we do? However, in keeping with the true armchair spirit- Monica and Jess know talking about problems is not enough. Action is necessary to evoke change. At the end of each episode M&J are given a challenge in an attempt to break bad habits. In one episode Monica is challenged to give a stranger her phone number. In another, Jess is asked to be 100% honest on his dating profiles. As they learn how to partner healthily with others, they grow into healthier individuals as well.
Josh Gad (Frozen, Frozen 2, Book of Mormon, The Daily Show) is an American actor, comedian, and singer. Josh sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss kindness in Hollywood, fatherhood, and his experience on Broadway. Dax claims Josh has won the lottery multiple times and Josh sets a goal for the next time he visits Armchair. The two talk about how we can learn from history, what its like to be the court jester and putting their mothers on pedestals.
Chris Voss is an American businessman, author, and professor. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference. Chris sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his time as a hostage negotiator, what drove him to law enforcement and the benefits of de-escalation. Dax wonders about the evolution of terrorism and Chris talks us through the hostage negotiation of Jill Carroll. He talks about the power of saying no, the concept of bending reality and the ways in which we can win negotiations in our daily lives.
Will Arnett (Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Blades of Glory, Lego Movie) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian and producer. Will sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his friendship with Dax, feeling like people misconstrue his optimism for arrogance and why he doesn't consider himself a comedian. Dax admits he was envious of Will's life and Will talks about his experience doing voiceover work. The two discuss sobriety, re-defining their narratives and how they became friends over Breves.
Jared Cohen is an American businessman. He is currently serving as the CEO of Jigsaw and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton and he is the author of Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America. Jared sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his obsession with history, the impact of social media on world crises and he teaches us how to win the week. Dax asks about his collection of presidential hair and Jared talks about how he learned to transfer his visible ticks to invisible ones. The two debate the importance of presidential fidelity and the narrowing center in American politics.
Claire Danes (Homeland, Romeo and Juliet, Temple Grandin, My So Called Life) is an American actress. Claire sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in an artistic environment, her feelings surrounding the final season of Homeland and her only one-night stand. Dax wonders if Claire was scared to play Temple Grandin and Claire talks about the choice to pass on Titanic. She discusses an absence of socialization as a kid, the awkwardness of returning to acting after college and an absurd experience at the Met Ball.
Armchair Expert Live from Nashville at Andrew Jackson Hall. November 1st, 2019.
Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show, The Price is Right) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, sports executive, and game show host. Drew sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his experience with meditation, his interest in gambling and being able to see his childhood with clarity as an adult. Dax asks about the phenomenon of The Price is Right and Drew invites the AE team to Disneyland. The two talk about overcoming less than ideal circumstances, their relationship to money and Drew shares his secret to show business.
Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist, philosopher, and podcast host. In Sam’s return to Armchair Expert, he discusses what it means to live an examined life. He touches on the concepts of being deliberate with one’s attention, consciousness as experience and the value of meditation. Dax believes Sam holds paradoxical interests and Sam admits he is increasingly leaning away from controversy. The two start the episode with an interesting thought experiment and they discuss the complexity of gurus.
January Jones (Mad Men, Last Man on Earth, Anger Management) is an American actress and model. January joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her obsession with reality TV, moving to Los Angeles with Ashton Kutcher in her early 20s and noting people don’t expect her to be smart. Dax is excited they are both named after fictional characters and January gives her opinion on why Mad Men was so successful. The two talk about social anxiety, January talks about her fear of fear and she discusses her experience as a single mother raising a young boy.
Ronan Farrow is an American journalist. Ronan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood growing up among 10 siblings, the discomfort of having a public family and his commitment to uncovering the truth. Dax is obsessed with Ronan’s wunderkind status and Ronan corrects Dax on calling him the “vanguard of the me too movement.” The two talk about universal insecurities, Ronan gives a piece of advice to celebrity parents and Dax and Monica beg him to be their best friend.
Rainn Wilson (The Office, Six Feet Under, The Rocker) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, businessman and producer. Rainn joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his feelings about The Office, his experience with the Baha’i faith and his familial connection to acting. Dax commends Rainn’s approach to comedy and Rainn talks about using the position of celebrity for good. The two talk about overcoming the need for global approval, Monica admits a big confession and Rainn explains that we will all meet again and on the next spiritual plane.
In our final episode of 2019, we send out the year by inviting friends and family to sing, laugh and be merry. Please enjoy our 2019 holiday spectacular with Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes and Scotty Icenogle. Music performed by David Schuler and routine shenanigans brought to you by Dax Shepard, Monica Padman and Rob Holysz.
On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from 2019.
Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission: Impossible III, The Americans) is an American actress and dancer. Keri visits the attic to discuss her time on the all new Mickey Mouse club, meeting Dax’s mom and sacrificing a normal childhood for work. She talks about being an introvert and Dax is thrilled about a childhood connection he has to her. The two discuss the need to privately re-charge at public events, the story of why Keri cut her hair on Felicity and they dissect the themes of loyalty and marriage in The Americans.
Armchair Expert Live from San Antonio at the Dad 2.0 Conference.
Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, speaker and podcast host. Malcolm joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the value of gleaning information from other cultures, growing up in a college library and our inability as humans to read others. Dax claims that Malcolm is our most referenced person on the podcast and Malcolm shames Dax for using the derogatory term of “jogger”. The two geek out over cars, they talk about how media shapes public perception and they give credit to people they met early in life who affected the trajectory of their lives.
T.I. is an American rapper and actor. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his foray into entrepreneurship as a child, narcissistic patterns and developing desensitization. Dax asks Tip to acknowledge his trauma and T.I. refuses to accept that Dax is a hillbilly. The two talk about imprisonment in the African American community, gearing education to kids' strengths and growing up in a single-parent home.
Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology and the host of the TED podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant. Adam visits the armchair expert to discuss overcoming introversion, being a super taster and the difference between givers and takers. Dax debates Adam on his latest Atlantic article and Adam talks about the importance of criticism. The two talk about growing up in Michigan, the necessity of tenure and how genius is often a result of quantity not quality.
Sam Elliott (Mask, The Big Lebowski, Road House, A Star is Born, The Ranch) is an American actor. Sam sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about fighting fires in Malibu, having a crush on his now wife and his introduction into the business. Dax reveals that his mom is in love with Sam and Sam discusses the evolution of A Star Is Born. The two talk about Sam's mixed messages persona, his draw to Westerns and the changes in the industry.
Laura Beil is a journalist and podcast host. Laura sits down with the Armchair Expert on this Thanksgiving day episode to talk about having to work on your feet as a journalist, her specific draw to the medical field and how she stumbled into podcasting. Dax theorizes on Laura’s Dr. Death podcast and Laura claims a story is never done, it is only due. The two talk about her new podcast, Bad Batch, that focuses on the stem cell industry, they eat Taco Bell together and Monica and Dax thank Laura for serving the best podcast of 2018.
Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Toy Story 4, Veep) is an American comedian and actor. Tony joins the attic to discuss his tools for combating anxiety, his relationship to religion and being present with his daughter. Dax wonders if Tony ever felt career insecurity and Tony ponders why he doesn’t have memories before 5th grade. The two talk about achieving their dreams and the subsequent lack of fulfillment. They discuss relating to others as a survival mechanism and their shared inability to remember people’s names.
Armchair Expert Live from Nashville at Andrew Jackson Hall. November 1st, 2019.
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Me Before You, Terminator Genisys) is an English actress. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about her Hogwarts-esque boarding school, learning Dothraki and her experience having two brain hemorrhages. Dax describes his love of male physiques and Emilia appreciates a Boston accent. The two discuss round features, struggling with imposter syndrome and Emilia weighs in on the difference between British and American sexual escalation.
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. Jonathan sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his struggle to eat vegetarian, his first book getting rejected by every publisher and he walks us through a traumatic childhood event he experienced. Dax wonders if Jonathan was nervous to write a second book following the success of his first and Jonathan talks about the efficacy of moderate changes. The two talk about climate change, hypnosis and there is a special visitor in the fact check.
Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year old Virgin, Knocked Up, This is 40, Trainwreck) is an American filmmaker, producer, actor and comedian. Judd sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss interviewing comedians as a teenager, what he’s learned from his marriage and the experience of delving into Gary Shandling’s life posthumously. Dax wonders if Judd feels a loss when his projects end and Judd talks about growing up in a spiritual void. The two talk about being children of divorce and Judd talks about his commitment to personal growth.
Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science until 2008. Richard joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to science, his theory on evolution and the lack of language diversity in English cultures. Dax admits he has been a fan of Richard since college and Richard declares what shows he’s watching on Netflix. The two talk about atheism, the evolutionary cause of death and the distortion of objectivity due to human filters.
Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days) and Oliver Hudson (Nashville, Splitting Up Together) are American actor/producer siblings. The two sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss their new podcast, they talk about their relationship to their father and how sibling perspectives differ. Kate tells a story of when she went to Valentino’s house and Oliver discusses unearthing old trauma. Kate and Dax talk about their past relationship and what they learned, stifling children’s aspirations and watching the OJ chase.
Liz Plank is an author, journalist and political correspondent at Vox. Liz sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss how to include men in the conversation on masculinity, her observation on American race relations and her solution to Twitter negativity. Dax praises Liz for changing Olympic guidelines and Liz delineates the components to a female orgasm. The two debate gender in sports, responsibility of the media and Dax experiences an unexpected mishap while taking a picture with Liz.
Edward Norton (Fight Club, American History X, Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel) is an American actor and filmmaker. Edward sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his new film Motherless Brooklyn, his relationship to privacy and his thoughts on storytelling. Edward talks about how he always felt on the outside of cool and Dax wonders if Edward seeks control. The two discuss iconic vs. shapeshifting actors and they tell the sad origin story of how they met.
Armchair Expert Live from Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theatre. June 29th, 2019.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, 40 Year Old Virgin, Pitch Perfect) is an American actress, writer, director and producer. Elizabeth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss going to a uniphile school, turning 40 on the set of the Hunger Games and her producorial recipe. Elizabeth talks about her positive disposition and Dax recalls meeting her at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The two talk about wanting their kids to feel a sense of danger, the sexiness of a capella singers and female empowerment.
Monica Lewinsky is an American anti-bullying ambassador to the Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Programme, on the advisory board of Project rockit, founding board member of The Childhood Resilience Foundation and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She sits down with the armchair expert to discuss overcoming trauma, cyber bullying and her experience being publicly labeled as a negative archetype. Monica talks about being an upstander and Dax is impressed by Monica’s resilience. The two discuss chasing and breaking patterns, public shame and the ways in which they both seek safety.
Jim Jefferies (Legit, The Jim Jefferies Show) is an Australian-American stand-up comedian, political commentator, actor, and writer. Jim visits the attic to discuss his early negative experience doing standup, his mothers end of life and his relationship to sobriety. Jim talks about the gun control bit that changed his career and Dax asks about Australian masculinity. The two talk about the desire to one up every conversation and the benefit of maintaining friendships with ex-girlfriends.
Nadine Burke Harris is an American pediatrician who is the 1st and current Surgeon General of California. She is known for her work in adverse childhood experiences. Nadine visits the Armchair Expert to discuss the impact childhood trauma has on health and longevity, she talks about her own experience with childhood adversity and she gives tools to buffer those who have many ACEs. Nadine talks about the screening process she pioneered and Dax wonders if parents will ever be truthful in admitting their contribution to childhood trauma. The two talk about the study that first led to ACE research, they discuss how awareness leads to shame reduction and Monica and Dax are in awe of Nadine's uniphile status.
Adam Devine (Workaholics, Pitch Perfect, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and singer. Adam sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about managing ego, the series of events that led to Workaholics and an early childhood trauma that he credits to his career in comedy. Adam discusses his first experience on Letterman and Dax explains the effects of a certain muscle building diet. Adam confesses that he originally thought Pitch Perfect was a baseball move and the two realize they are both obsessed with the same almond butter packets.
Lori Gottlieb is an American author and psychotherapist. She sits down in the attic to discuss her transition from entertainment to therapist, her willingness to listen to career advice and the importance of the patient/therapist relationship. She talks about the privilege of being let into someone’s thoughts and Dax wonders if she’s ever fallen in love with a patient. The two talk about the unfamiliarity of change, her rule for couples therapy and what it’s like seeing her patients out in the world.
The Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band. They sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the experience of being in a family band, the balance between touring and home life and the connection between artist and audience. The two talk about how they came to love music and Dax describes the magic of an Avett Brothers’ concert. They discuss the male right of passage, their relationship to religion and the feeling of universal unity.
Armchair Expert Live from Cleveland at KeyBank State Theatre. June 23rd, 2019.
Jim Gaffigan (Away We Go, 17 Again, Mr. Universe, Obsessed) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. Jim joins the armchair expert to discusses his desire to revolt against expectations, his relationship to religion and his experience growing up in the midwest. Jim laments over being offered grandpa roles and Dax talks about the dangers of elitism. The two talk about challenging the audience, why certain people can avoid scandal and whether their children will have addictive personalities.
Dave Asprey is an entrepreneur and author. He founded Bulletproof 360, Inc., and Bulletproof Nutrition Inc. He has also written multiple books. Dave sits down in the attic to discuss his transition from tech to nutrition, his experience working through PTSD he developed at birth and his journey to lose weight. Dave talks about the benefits of delayed ejaculation and Dax wonders what the evolutionary purpose is for death. The two talk about embracing placebo, the impact of gratitude and Monica and Dax take a field trip on the fact check.
Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses, Pacific Rim) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, director and musician. He sits down the with Armchair Expert to discuss growing up amongst musical PHD's, his biggest fear as a parent and the process for creating It's Always Sunny. Charlie relays an incident involving a BB gun which resulted in profound life advice and Dax wonders what it was like to work with Ice Cube. The two talk about their varying relationships to money, wanting to avoid the comparison game and they debate whether or not its valuable to insert yourself in a dangerous situation.
Duane "Dog" Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter is an American reality TV star and bounty hunter. Dog sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss why he joined the Devil's Disciples, how he got the name Dog The Bounty Hunter and his longest hunt. Dog talks about his connection to Tony Robbins and Dax sees many similarities between Dog and his dad. The two talk about being in public-facing marital relationships, building armor to cover trauma and creating moral boundaries within immoral situations.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From the Sun, 500 Days of Summer, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, and entrepreneur. Joseph visits the attic to discuss the differences between enjoying science vs. art, his commitment to creativity and the future of privacy in social media. He talks about why he did a Pop Tart commercial as a kid and Dax admits to a social blunder upon first meeting Joseph. The two discuss career fear, Jospeh talks about his grandfather who was blacklisted from the industry and they dissect the perceived idea that Joseph is extra confident.
Pete Carroll is an American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the USC Trojans of the University of Southern California. Pete joins the Armchair Expert to discuss overcoming his stature as a kid, the importance of being present and his three basic rules. Pete talks about learning from failure and Dax is enamored by Pete's skin. The two discuss the value of being a salesman, learning how to be competitive and the power of self-actualization.
Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar, The Namesake, House) is an American actor, comedian, producer, and former civil servant. Kal sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss developing his stage name, not being able to please everyone and lying on his resume. Kal talks about his time working in the White House and Dax asks about balancing work and stereotypes. The two discover that they are the same person and they discuss the worth of a Big Mac.
Armchair Expert Live from Chicago at the Chicago Theatre. June 28th, 2019.
Beanie Feldstein (Neighbors 2, Lady Bird, Booksmart) is an American actress. Beanie sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in LA but always feeling like a New Yorker. She talks about her experience falling in love and the merit of summer camp. Beanie recalls her first night on Broadway and Dax needs to revisit his stance on Barbra Streisand. The two discuss differing confidence levels between siblings and Beanie claims to be an avid Armcherry.
Dr. Steven Gundry is an American doctor, former cardiac surgeon and author. Dr. Gundry sits down in the attic to discuss his early work in heart transplants, the degeneration of the human microbiome and his theory on lectins as they impact health. Dr. Gundry talks about training as a scrub tech when he was in medical school and Dax is extremely interested in crapsules. The two talk about the evolution of humans, why medical residents are forced to work on no sleep and Monica and Dax host a moonlight fact check.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Alien: Covenant, Vice Principals) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. Danny sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his conflict between taking work and being with his family, his childhood memory of living on a prison ground and his move to Charleston. Danny talks about being drawn to people who aren't what they claim to be and Dax is in love with The Righteous Gemstones. The two talk about making comedies vs dramas, Danny talks about the moment he realized none of his characters have long sleeves and we learn in the fact check that Dax can't stop sending Danny e-mails.
Tal Ben-Shahar is American and Israeli professor and author in the areas of positive psychology, organizational psychology and leadership. Tal sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his road from squash player to Harvard professor, his trick for mitigating road rage and his psychological approach to solving structural problems. Tal gives tips on building resilience and Dax questions the validity of self-help. The two talk about the reasons behind escalating systemic depression, the idea that humans have more commonalities than differences and the concept of ritualizing positive behavior.
Busy Philipps (Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, Vice Principals, Busy Tonight) is an American actress, writer, producer, and director. Busy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling creatively seen on Freaks and Geeks, individualists vs. communalists and her perception that Dax has facial blindness toward her. Busy talks about her catharsis writing her book and Dax asks about her foray into social media. Dax and Busy are excited to learn they both worked at the California Pizza Kitchen and Busy believes everyone deserves to hear “I Love You” before bed.
Armchair Expert Live from Detroit at the Fox Theatre. June 21st, 2019.
Casey Affleck (Good Will Hunting, The Assassination of Jesse James, Gone Baby Gone, Manchester By The Sea) is an American actor and director. Casey sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood in Boston, his lack of foresight in making career decisions and his Kevin Bacon related epiphany. Dax is shocked Casey doesn’t know they’re neighbors and Casey believes any actor could have played his roles. The two commiserate over going to Alateen meetings as kids, they unearth an old misunderstanding between the two of them and Monica tells Casey about her Good Will Hunting obsession.
Armchair Expert Live from Seattle at the Paramount Theatre. June 1st, 2019.
This episode features music from The Head & The Heart, performing “Missed Connections” from their new album “Living Mirage."
Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen) is an American actor, singer and songwriter. Ben sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about surprising Kristen for her birthday, having to go on silent vocal rest for 10 days and the moment he come out to his parents. Dax wonders if Ben will eventually choose a partner over work and Ben speaks about his love of New York. The two discuss the level of dedication required for live theater, Ben talks about his worst moment on Broadway and he shares the weirdest backstage interaction he's ever had.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is an American politician serving as the 42nd and current Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. Mayor Garcetti sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to public service, his love of jazz piano and the overwhelming issue of homelessness in Los Angeles. Dax asks about the future of motorized scooters and Mayor Garcetti talks about his love of napping. The two discuss pragmatism over party and Eric divulges the best restaurant in Los Angeles.
Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer, No Strings Attached, It’s Complicated, Bless This Mess) is an American actress, director, screenwriter and TV wife to the Armchair Expert. Lake visits the attic to discuss her creative process, her evolution toward marriage and the harrowing story that eventually led to her two tattoos. Lake wrestles with taking on certain roles now that she is married and Dax wonders if many of Lake’s previous roles are now obsolete in the industry. The two debate the varying ways to run a set, Lake discusses growing into her body vs. growing into her sexuality and Monica and Dax re-create the Estonian method in the fact check.
Dr. Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D. is a dual-trained brain surgeon and neuroscientist at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Rahul sits down in the attic to discuss intermittent fasting, emigrating from India as an eight-year-old and how he redirected some of his negative qualities into positive ones. Dax wonders if it takes a certain level of arrogance to choose brain surgeon and Rahul gives a breakdown of the human body as it relates to mechanics. The two talk about modern approaches to fighting cancer and the importance of keeping the brain stimulated.
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years, The Princess Bride, The Grinder) is an American actor, director and producer. Fred sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss being a child in the public eye and his singular goal of finding the emotional underpinning in all projects. Dax wonders about Fred’s decision to go to college amidst a burgeoning career and Fred talks about emulating Ron Howard. The two discuss being in the dead dad club, Fred gives his trick to auditioning and Monica and Dax coin a new word in the fact check.
Armchair Expert Live from San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. May 31st, 2019.
Andy Richter (Conan, Madagascar, Andy Richter Controls the Universe) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and late night talk show announcer. Andy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood, the idiosyncrasies of growing up in a small town and the importance of being vocal about mental health. Dax talks about the first time he saw Andy at a bar and Andy talks about his experience as a winner on Jeopardy. The two talk about their different journeys through drugs, Dax wonders if the term “sidekick” is triggering and Andy talks about finally feeling content.
Jennifer Newsom is an American documentary filmmaker and actress. Jennifer joins us on this episode of Experts on Expert to discuss her documentary The Mask You Live In, the value of teaching empathy at a young age and the fear surrounding the toxic masculinity conversation. Dax wonders what it’s like to travel with secret service and Jennifer discusses the increasing need for “feminine” traits in business. The two talk about conscious capitalism and the role both genders play in building stereotypes.
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Barry, Trainwreck, Skeleton Twins) is an American comedian, actor and producer. Bill sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up surrounded by females, his experience as a production assistant in LA and his struggle with intense anxiety at SNL. Bill talks about the first time he met a movie star and Dax questions Bill on why he has so much sexual rhythm with women. The two discuss how growing up in a small town ingrains self-deprecation and Bill repeats sage advice he learned from Jeff Bridges.
Steve Madden is an American fashion designer and businessman. Steve sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling different from an early age, his experience going to prison and the surreality to watching his life on the big screen. Dax is excited to learn Steve is sober and Steve talks about managing his ego. The two talk about the trap of narcissism and Steve discusses growing his business from $1100 to over a billion dollars.
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Legion, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) is an American actress, comedian and producer. Aubrey sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her desire to disrupt the norm, her experience in same-sex education and her journey after a love that got away. She talks about the unsavory elements of working at a video store and Dax convinces her she is great on talk shows. The two talk about their medical histories, her draw to improv and Monica and Dax go to Detroit for the fact check.
Dr. Alex Katehakis Ph.D., MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S is the Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles and the author of Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction, Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation: A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment and co-author of Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence. Dr. Alex sits down in the attic to discuss the role shame plays in sexual dysfunction, the indicators of love addiction and the practice of tantric intimacy. She talks about the multiple factors that lead to disassociation and Dax believes dolphins are very sexual. The two discuss the different types of relationships young people are engaging in and they talk about the impact of pornography on developing minds.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Veep) is an American actress, comedian, producer and queen of the Armchair Expert’s heart. Julia sits down in the attic to discuss her childhood, her intense fear of horror films and her naivety surrounding Seinfeld’s popularity. Julia talks about her attraction to cynical people and Dax hopes to become Julia’s stepdad and husband. The two chat about the trap of raising children in Los Angeles and Julia remarks on the ways having breast cancer rightsized all her priorities.
Armchair Expert Live from Santa Fe at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. April 20th, 2019.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs, Arrested Development) is an American comedian, actor, producer, director, and writer. Jeff sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the pursuit of being humble, utilizing respect as a parenting philosophy and his unconventional process in creating stand up. Jeff talks about the torment of unrequited love and Dax asks about his partnership with Larry David. The two discuss the trap of negativity and Jeff dissects the way he uses food to regulate emotions.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author best known for her books Eat Pray Love, Committed and Big Magic. Elizabeth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up on a Christmas tree farm, her highest moment during the Eat Pray Love process and she talks about a tragic moment that led to a deep realization. Elizabeth recalls getting her first short story published and Dax dissects his young attraction to rogue writers. The two discuss methods of female empowerment and Elizabeth talks about her positive relationship with fear.
Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Saturday Night Live, Step Brothers) is an American actor, comedian, producer and writer. Will sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the impetus for Anchorman, his reverence for being on a team and his love for Sweden. Will gives the backstory of when he dressed as security at a Lakers game and Dax questions Will about the ways in which he contradicts comedic stereotypes. The two talk about childhood moments that led to careers in comedy, Will discusses his compulsion to put himself in stressful situations and Dax admits to occasionally getting angry at Will’s creative genius.
Erin Lee Carr is an American documentary film director, writer, and producer. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her journey to sobriety, her interest in complicated humans and growing up with parents who are addicts. Dax asks about Erin’s relationship with her father and Erin talks about creating boundaries in her filmmaking. The two talk about process-oriented work, her need to speak for those who are silenced and how AA meetings taught her how to listen.
Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley, Adventure Time) is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, podcast host, and writer. Kumail sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to overcoming undiagnosed anger, he talks about the moment he realized his childhood cuteness had disappeared and he gives the backstory to why he stumbled in his SNL monologue. Dax wonders what it’s like to be married to a relationship therapist and Kumail talks about his journey to gain 20 lbs of muscle in 5 months. The two debate whether feeling excluded is universal, Kumail talks about his complicated relationship with Pakistan and he teaches Dax the difference between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic hamburgers.
Samin Nosrat is an American chef and food writer. She is a regular food columnist for the New York Times magazine and has a docuseries on Netflix called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Samin visits the attic to discuss how community is tied to food, her first experience at Chez Panisse where she eventually worked and her realization that mistakes lead to growth. Dax describes some of his favorite at home recipes and Samin talks about how she cried in every episode of her documentary series. The two talk about food systems, the importance of asking for help and Samin wishes Americans had more words for “restaurant”.
Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Poltergeist, Parenthood) is an American actor and the Armchair Expert’s TV dad. Craig sits down in the attic to discuss his struggle with aging, his journey to sobriety and he talks about the period in his life when he left LA for something simpler. Dax asks Craig to regale us with some of his epic drug stories and Craig reflects upon his relationship with his father. The two talk about their time on Parenthood together, the bond over their mutual love of racing cars and they discuss the power of the ego.
Armchair Expert Live from Denver at the Buell Theatre. April 19th, 2019.
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Dodgeball, Alvin and the Chipmunks) is an American actor and comedian. Justin sits down in the attic to discuss growing up in a religious family, feeling protective of his older brother and he shares the moment he realized adults can be wrong. Justin talks about his relationship with men who are physically larger than him and Dax is blown away by Justin’s Vince Vaughn impression. Dax as Justin talk about the rare experience of dating someone in the public eye, Dax lists reasons why he is jealous of Justin and Justin talks about getting abducted in Michigan.
Listen and subscribe to Justin’s podcast Life Is Short: http://wondery.fm/lifeisshort
Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy) is American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer. Bill sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the importance of facts, the pros and cons of shooting Bill Nye the Science guy in Seattle and he declares all kids love science. Dax wonders if Bill has any taste buds left after eating too many frozen marshmallows and Bill talks about his parents' fascinating journeys. The two discuss the Wright brothers, the impact of Steve Martin and the future of Science.
Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show, Homecoming King, Patriot Act) is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. Hasan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling overwhelmed by the balance of life and work and the effect of trends and forces in his life. Dax wonders if Hasan is attracted to people who resemble his mother and Hasan wants Monica to speak up. The two talk about Dax’s relationship insecurity, the current excitement around diverse cultures represented in art and Hasan gives the secret sauce to The Daily Show magic.
Esther Perel is a Belgian author and psychotherapist. Esther sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the true definition of eroticism, the unrealistic expectations we put on our partners and how the status of a couple affects the whole family. She finds the current lack of sex education unacceptable and Dax wonders if Esther’s husband is intimidated by her. Esther delineates the complexities of infidelity, she insists we break societal labels and she talks about the residual effect of growing up with parents who survived the Nazi concentration camps.
Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show) is an English writer, director, radio presenter, comedian and actor. Stephen sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the pros and cons of being tall and his philosophy on directing. Dax and Stephen reminisce on the pre-internet era when it was impossible to find answers to bizarre questions. They talk about the differences between English and American standards on alcohol consumption and mental health and Stephen talks about the success of The Office and its lasting impact. In the fact check, Monica and Dax reflect on past indiscretions at the bowling alley and they hope the statute of limitations is up.
Dr. Eric Topol is an American cardiologist, geneticist, digital medicine researcher and the director and founder of Scripps research institute. The good doctor sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the benefits of applying Artificial intelligence to our healthcare system, he talks about the concept of deep leaning and he relays the importance of human to human interaction in medicine. Dax wonders if we are spending too much money on end of life care and Eric debunks the notion that AI will fully replace humans. The two talk about the futile search for pain relief and the doctor gets everyone excited about the advent of a smartphone full body scan. Also, Monica and Dax get a special surprise call in the fact check.
Norah Jones is a Grammy award-winning American singer, songwriter, and pianist. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the trajectory of her career, her commitment to music and dealing with public criticism. Norah admits she is attracted to musicians and Dax, in response, declares his rudimentary knowledge of drumming. The two talk about the value of relationships pre and post-fame, they bond over having powerful single mothers and Norah plays music for Dax and Monica making them feel like their live in a matrix.
Michael Gervais is a high-performance psychologist and co-founder of Compete to Create. In this episode of Experts on Expert, Michael sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss working on the RedBull Stratos project, the nuisance of overcoming mental obstacles and his work with Microsoft employees to maximize work performance. The two talk about the mindfulness revolution, optimal coaching techniques and steps to train your mind.
Will Forte (SNL, MacGruber, Nebraska, The Last Man on Earth) is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer. Will sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss turning down SNL, living with OCD and the experience of creating his own show. Dax has mastered the Irish goodbye and Will remembers shooting his first scene of an Alexander Payne movie. Will recalls his SNL audition characters, he talks about getting fired from Letterman and Dax thinks MacGruber is a perfect comedy.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter and CNN medical correspondent. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss wanting to change his name to Steve as a child, performing surgery in a wartime environment and he breaks the misconception that brain size is the primary factor in intelligence. Dax and Sanjay share a Michigander past and they discuss some of the failing components of our current healthcare system. He talks about recent findings in CTE and leaves us with advice on ways to maximize health and prolong life.
Adam Pally (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project, The Presidents Show) is an American actor, comedian, producer and writer. Adam stops by the attic to discuss feeling bitter toward the industry, loving the feeling of losing and his newfound look on Judaism. Dax wants Adam to stop burning bridges and Adam talks about the one takeaway he gained from acting school. The two note the specific placement of movie billboards, they discuss different kinds of recognizability and Adam recalls a piece of advice he learned from Jimmy Kimmel.
Armchair Expert Live from San Antonio at the Majestic Theatre. February 23rd, 2019.
Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately, The Chelsea Handler Show, Chelsea Does) is an American comedian, actress, writer, television host, producer, activist and bonafide baller. Chelsea sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her very odorous experience on iowaska, her need to escape her family and her realization that her patterns with men are the result of a childhood trauma. Dax asks about her relationship to substances and Chelsea is hoping to find a skiing buddy. The two talk about the root of her intimidating nature, censorship in comedy and how old men love Chelsea.
John Kim is a licensed therapist, life coach and author. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his commitment to redefining masculinity, why he created The Angry Therapist blog and his view on expired relationships. John talks about the deep communication barrier with his parents and Dax wonders if John's marriage was a result of feeling "other" his whole life. The two talk about living in a fatherless nation, they discuss what it means to live a "through me" life and John tells a notable story involving sexual exploration and a stone fruit.
Chris D’Elia (Whitney, Undatable, The Good Doctor) is an American stand up comedian, actor, writer and podcast host. Chris sits down in the attic to discuss his relationship patterns, his young obsession to resemble Luke Perry and his terrible memory. Chris talks about his desire to have a family and Dax wonders why Chris has never done drugs. The two talk about the different ways comedians are perceived, Chris wishes he has been born with the name Damian Monroe and it remains unclear as to whether or not Chris and Kristen (Bell) had sex in college.
Armchair Expert Live from Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. January 17th, 2019.
This episode features “Sisyphus” by Andrew Bird off his new album “My Finest Work Yet” and “Oopsies” by Bob Mervak & Kristen Bell.
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love, Emma, Seven, Iron Man) is an American actress and owner of a natural health company, Goop. Gwyneth sits down with the Armchair Expert in this special crossover episode to talk about her relationship to fear and control, intentional parenting and her profound relationship with her father. Gwyneth promises Dax a BIG birthday present and Dax deems Gwyneth the one person with whom he'd like to trade lives. The two discuss Gwyneth's propensity to trigger peoples insecurities, they talk about the current social climate of seeking fame as a career and in the fact check Dax makes a grave mistake involving Monica and Gwyneth's handbags.
Johann Hari is a Swiss English author and journalist. Johann sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the many factors that have impacted his research on addiction and mental health, he explains why he is disillusioned by the idea that addiction is purely chemical, and he talks about the importance of community and love in depressive people. Johann talks about his own personal experience with anti-depressants, trauma and familial addiction that led him to his exploration. Dax debates Johann about the importance of tough love and he wonders if models of rehabilitation in other countries can be mapped on to America.
Johann is the author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections: Uncovering the real causes of depression and the unexpected solutions.
Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, Across the Universe, Mildred Pierce, Westworld) is an American actress, activist, and musician. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her childhood growing up amongst adults, her young foray into the entertainment industry and she shares her experience with domestic abuse. Dax asks about the sustainability of dating when having a child and Evan thinks we’re definitely living in a matrix. The two chat about the benefit of psychedelic drugs, they discuss the nuisance of victimhood and they unpack a past twitter fight between the two them.
Reshma Saujani is an Indian American lawyer, author, politician and founder of the tech organization Girls Who Code. She sits down in the attic to discuss how she spent her childhood trying to assimilate, what it felt like when she reached a lifelong status goal and she talks about her mission to promote bravery. Dax asks Reshma about what she learned from two failed elections and Reshma discusses her relationship with religion. Dax and Reshma debate the roles of biology and culture on gender differences and Dax wants to go back in time and visit Monica’s grandma.
Pete Holmes (Crashing, The Pete Holmes Show, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes podcast) is an American comedian, actor, writer and podcaster. Pete sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his three-way marriage with comedy, the book that got him sober and how his life resembles the biblical story of Jacob and Esau. Pete decides Dax’s mom would be played by Francis McDormand and Dax predicts fatherhood will rightsize Pete’s problems. Dax and Pete talk about the different tactics men use to appear attractive to women, how modesty is an equally alpha move to being ostentatious and the two have different takes on the fatherly nature of Bob Vila.
John Gottman is an American psychological researcher, an award-winning speaker, author, a professor emeritus in psychology and co-founder of the Gottman Institute. John sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his research on thin slicing and predicting marital success. He notes how having a daughter turned him into an instant feminist and He talks about the different ways men and women view sex. The two talk about a father's crucial role to a child, they delve into the four horsemen of the apocalypse and John urges couples to foster curiosity.
Jake Johnson (New Girl, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Let’s Be Cops) is an American actor and comedian. Jake sits down in the attic to discuss his early misconception of school, he pinpoints a career moment where he felt humbled and talks about his process mending a parental relationship. Jake describes the discomfort of being a public person and Dax admits that books he used to worship have lost a lot of societal value over time. Jake and Dax discuss choosing family over work, they delve into addiction and Jake tells the story of how he got stuck at Natalie Portman’s house.
Armchair Expert Live from Chicago at the Chicago Theatre. December 1st, 2018.
Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, The Sarah Silverman Program) is an American writer, comedian and actress. Chelsea sits down with the armchair expert to discuss her resistance to ambition, the intrigue behind successful siblings and how biology is anti-feminist. Dax admits that he desperately wants Chelsea's approval and he can't discern whether or not she likes him. The two talk about parenting as public figures, she describes feeling very unprepared when she started Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dax thinks Chelsea is from Long Island.
Happy one year anniversary to us! On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from our first year in the attic(t). February 14, 2018- February 14, 2019.
Jason Mantzoukas (The League, The Dictator, Parks and Recreation, How Did This Get Made Podcast) is an American actor, comedian and improviser. Jason sits down in the attic to talk about Bostonian culture, his early goal of being on The Daily Show and his year abroad studying how cultures use music for medicinal purposes. Dax asks about his deathly food allergy and Jason thinks we are on the brink of a paradigm shift in comedy. Dax wonders if Jason ever feels resentful for his place in the industry, Jason talks about how he never expected to be single in his 40s and Monica feels like a fangirl.
Dr. Phil McGraw is an American television personality, author, psychologist, and the host of the television show Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil comes to the attic after accidentally going to the wrong house and happily surprising a nice woman. He sits down to discuss growing up around an alcoholic father, he talks about his 10-7-5 theory on life and he reflects on his career before the Dr. Phil show. Dax asks how he handles negative misconceptions about him and Dr.Phil talks about his first meeting with Oprah. The two dissect why they often feel emotionless, they discuss what it’s like to be both fallible and in an advisory position and Dax wonders about the mechanics of sun tea.
Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars, Party Down, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes in Television) is an American actor, comedian and best friend of the Armchair Expert. Ryan sits down in the attic to discuss his insecurity about coming on the show, his time as a party pumper and he talks about what it was like to get married at a young age. Dax thanks Ryan for being such a source of joy and light in his life and Ryan commends Dax on his growth as a man. The two travel down memory lane and re-hash Ryan’s spectacular crash on an alpine sled, Ryan remembers the moment Dax met Kristen and Ryan insists he is 6 feet tall despite Dax’s skepticism.
Todd Rose is the co-founder and president of the Populace, author of multiple books and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Todd sits down in the attic to discuss his research on dark horse achievers, he talks about his low point when he was employed giving enemas, and he stresses the importance of finding your motivation. Dax wonders if we live in a world that is able to support this kind of evolved attitude and Todd praises Dax's correct pronunciation of "attic". The two share a visceral memory of the smell of the great salt lake, they delineate the 4 steps to realizing your potential and Dax offers Monica a generous 2019 Christmas present in the fact check.
Michael Peña (Crash, End of Watch, Ant-Man, The Martian, CHiPs) is an American actor and musician. Michael sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his love of rehearsal, feeling like a man without a country and his experience overcoming the lack of Latino roles as an early actor. Dax wonders if he robbed Michael of the "actors bond" during CHiPs and Michael gives the backstory on his character in Observe and Report. Dax and Michael discuss how parenting methods have changed, Michael refuses to believe he's a movie star and Dax accuses Monica and Michael of having rhythm.
Bret Weinstein is an American biologist and Evolutionary theorist. Bret sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the boundaries of empathy, the concept of metaphorical truth and the bonding dynamics between males and females. Dax and Bret advocate for the protection of intellectual discourse and the two agree that there isn't a universally effective human diet. Bret talks about the evolvement of monogamy, the trajectory of gossip over time and Dax teaches Bret about the mechanics of the hall pass.
Jay Leno (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show, Jay Leno's Garage) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, television host and true legend. Jay sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his early years as a comedian, he recounts the moment Rodney Dangerfield had a stroke on his show and he deems Letterman a master wordsmith. Dax is stunned by Jay's car knowledge and he commends Jay's ability to reach out a helping hand to those in need. Jay tells the story of how he tricked his dad into buying a souped-up car when he was young, he remembers a time when he turned a bad situation into a positive one with the help of Taylor Swift and he pinpoints the sole moment he got nervous before performing.
Armchair Expert Live from Toronto at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre. September 29th, 2018.
Sarah Silverman (Saturday Night Live, The Sarah Silverman Program, Wreck-It Ralph, I Smile Back) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, producer, writer and benevolent goddess. Sarah sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the sexual double standard between male and female comics, she talks about her experience as a teenage bed wetter and she touches on her commitment to empathy. Sarah reflects on a moment where she used sexuality to gain power and Dax wonders if her attractiveness was a hindrance in the comedy community. The two have a discussion about the curliness of pubic hair, they dissect Sarah’s misophonia and Dax apologizes for a past interaction that still haunts him.
Scott Harrison is the founder and current CEO of the non-profit charity, Charity: Water. Scott sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his unconventional childhood and his career as a club promoter turned philanthropist. He attempts to disarm Dax's skepticism and he explains why giving begets giving. Scott delves into his mothers' struggle with the world, he talks about his feelings of powerlessness and he explains the rare financial model behind Charity: Water.
Josh Hutcherson (Zathura, The Kids are Alright, The Hunger Games) is an American actor, producer, director and prodigal son to the Armchair Expert. Josh sits down in the attic to discuss his brother's obsession with Ken Jennings, why it’s easy to fall in love in love with fellow actors and the joy of living in a foreign country. Josh reveals that he is, in fact, a colonel and Dax is intrigued by Josh’s sexual grandfather. The two talk about some of the negative experiences of fame and they reminisce on a moment when Dax drove a little too fast for Josh’s liking.
Join us for our first annual holiday party featuring musical guests Jackie Tohn, Hannah Anderson and Kristen Bell. Also, Monica, Dax and Wobby Wob reflect on the year.
Josh Duhamel (Transformers, NBC's Las Vegas, When In Rome, Love, Simon) is an American actor, model and director. Josh sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his dad's breed of tough love, his struggle to become less of a people pleaser and how Steven Spielberg changed his life. Josh recounts the time he beat Ashton Kutcher in a modeling contest and Dax commits to objectifying Josh's body. The two talk about soap opera acting, how men prove their friendship and Dax and Monica reveal the most epic white elephant gift in the fact check.
Sean Hayes (Will and Grace, The Bucket List, Sean Saves The World) is an American actor, comedian, producer and worlds most lovable human. Sean sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss diffusing hardship with humor, he examines the bedrock for his people-pleasing nature and he reveals the advice Dax gave him that led to his public coming out. He talks about his affinity for matching pajamas and Dax tells the story of how he had butterflies after the first time he met Sean. Sean talks about his journey to Will and Grace, Dax wants Sean to have a baby and Monica and Dax debate why all old people are short on the fact check.
Armchair Expert Live from Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. September 22nd, 2018.
Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill, John Tucker Must Die, Chicago P.D.) is an American actress and activist. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her love of stunt driving, her experience being a woman in Hollywood and the steps she's taken toward self-fulfillment. Dax gives a solid piece of advice to young actresses and Sophia unknowingly drops Monica and Dax's favorite vocabulary words. The two talk about the path to learning from your previous mistakes, Sophia discusses reaching fame from a locational distance and in the fact check, Monica and Dax entertain the notion of Barack Obama fathering Monica's hypothetical child.
Jonathan Haidt is an author, moral psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss moral panic on college campuses, the benefits of independence in childhood and the inherent difference in moral attitudes between the political left and right. The two talk about the failure of American systems, the ways in which we are breeding a generation of anxiety/depression and Monica and Dax pontificate on whether incest is immoral in the fact check.
Jonathan Haidt is the author of The Righteous Mind, The Happiness Hypothesis and The Coddling of The American Mind. Subscribe to Experts on Expert: http://bit.ly/exponexp
Andrea Savage (Step Brothers, Veep, I’m Sorry) is an American actress, comedian, and writer. Andrea sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her family of teeth, her profound realization after getting cut from the Groundlings and her physical resemblance to Julia Roberts. Andrea talks about a cat-centric traumatic event in her household and Dax wonders if Andrea remembers the time he arrived at her house on ecstasy. The two travel down memory lane about their previous romantic encounter and they talk about recent deaths in their respective families and what they gleaned from the experience.
Armchair Expert Live from Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. September 22nd, 2018.
Conan O'Brien (Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Late Night, Conan) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. Conan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the sad truth of bicycle accident funerals, his propensity for kindness after having consumed alcohol and how he has let humility become a guiding principle in his life. Dax is sad Conan never went to the playboy mansion and Conan corrects Dax's grammatical indiscretions. The two talk about the duality between control and chaos, they defend the idea that all parents should be slightly addicted to alcohol, they declare the certain fate of class clowns and Conan denies Monica's request to be friends.
Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist and podcast host. As the most referenced person on Armchair Expert, Sam enters the attic with an unparalleled reverence. On this special Thanksgiving episode of Experts on Expert, Sam makes our podcast dreams come true. The two discuss Sam’s commitment to honesty, they talk about the country’s political polarization and they consider the idea of separating art from the artist. Dax wonders if Sam operates out of fear, Sam talks about his battle with Batman and Sam attempts to take his foot out of Dax’s mouth.
Debby Ryan (The Suite Life on Deck, Jessie, Insatiable) is an American actress, singer and the youngest guest thus far on Armchair Expert. Debby sits down in the attic to discuss her childhood in Germany, her struggle with body dysmorphia and her experience as a Disney star. Debby talks about how she uses boxing as an outlet and Dax thinks Millie Bobby Brown looks like Tom Wilkinson. The two wonder if there is an onslaught of victimhood occurring in young people, they discuss Debby's lack of romantic interests and Debby impresses Dax with her first car purchase.
Armchair Expert Live from Dallas at The Majestic Theatre. August 18th, 2018.
Ira Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. The armchair experts travel to NYC to record in the esteemed This American Life studios. In this special remote episode, Ira discusses the psychology behind affairs and why he is drawn to monogamy, he talks about his journey as a radio personality, and he contemplates his sense of control in his work. Dax wonders about what it feels like to be the conduit for other show’s success and Ira reveals what he deems is the best podcast right now. Dax tells Ira that being a part of a This American Life story was a career highlight and Ira can’t decide if he likes Kristen or Dax more.
Jerry Buting (Making A Murderer) is an American criminal defense attorney and author. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the mechanics of the justice system, his perpetual desire to root for the underdog and his recent book- Illusion of Justice. Dax asks Jerry about stereotypes in jury selection and Jerry breaks down the necessity of burden of proof. The two talk about the secret skills of an attorney, ethics in justice, false confessions and how the Steven Avery case catapulted him to dreamboat status.
Subscribe to Experts on Expert: http://bit.ly/exponexp
Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair, Jeff Who Lives at Home, The League) is an American film director, film producer, actor, musician, screenwriter, author and old buddy of the Armchair Expert. Mark sits down in the attic to discuss his happiness living in the B+ range of his industry, he talks about a recent conscious uncoupling with his work partner/brother and he contemplates the reasons behind his workaholic sensibility. Dax details his writing routine and Mark reveals the trick Ray Romano taught him of how to make a joke land. Dax and Mark reminisce on a joyous time in their life when they would get together, watch old movies and dissect the male form.
Lena Dunham (Girls, Tiny Furniture, Camping) is an American actress, writer, producer and director. Lena sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss body image in Hollywood, how she handles haters on social media and the series of events that led to her showing Brad Pitt her underwear. Dax and Lena commiserate over their autoimmune disorders and they discuss the process of relationship growth. Lena talks about her recent path that’s led to deep self-exploration and Dax tells of the time he rescued Lesley Arfin from the basement of the Maritime hotel.
Armchair Expert Live from Austin at The Paramount Theatre. August 17th, 2018.
Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Fargo) is an American actor, director, producer, writer and one of Dax’s idols. Rob sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss raising young boys, he ponders celebrities role in social media and he details the multiple times he’s drastically changed his body. Dax exalts Rob’s discipline and in response Rob explains why he often sees that trait as a vice not a virtue. Rob and Dax talk about Brazilian jujitsu, they mutually gush over Kaitlin Olson and Dax is obsessed with Rob’s gym.
Dr. Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew on Call, Loveline, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew) is a board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist, and media personality. On this episode of Experts on Expert, Dr. Drew discusses balancing ambition and family, how gut instinct is linked to the brain, and his reasoning for advocating the 12 step program. The two talk about monogamy and sex addiction, they list the myriad effects of suboxone and they chat about our ego's inability to separate self and family. Dr. Drew details some of his public blunders, he talks through the criticisms of Celebrity Rehab and Monica and Dax engage in a strange Foley exercise in the fact check.
Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, I Feel Pretty) is an American stand-up comedian, actress and Queen of all things. Amy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss body confidence, how she met her husband and her general contentment with death. Amy talks about the ubiquitous fear women harbor and Dax is excited they both share the title of Class Clown. The two veer into a conversation about gender differences that left Dax feeling regretful after the recording. Monica and Dax discuss the aftermath and resolution of that moment during the fact check.
Armchair Expert Live from Los Angeles at Largo at the Coronet. June 30th, 2018.
Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers) is an American comedian, writer, political commentator, actor, and television host. The Armchair Expert travels to 30 Rock to discuss being beta to their female alpha counterparts and the uncomfortable competition that happens among friends in a sketch environment. Seth talks about the time Brad Paisley saved him from having to dance at his wedding, he discusses the balance between work and family and he details the highest moment during his day. Dax puts Seth at the top of the "hardest workers" list and Seth reveals the secret to getting Lorne Michaels to like you.
In this episode of Experts on Expert, the Armchair Expert speaks to author, professor and Israeli historian, Yuval Noah Harari. In this far too brief episode, Yuval discusses the differences between our experiential and narrative selves, he talks about a not so distant future in which AI will drastically alter the workforce and he theorizes on why the technological evolution could potentially warrant the return of communism. The two discuss the idea of myths, virtual reality and security. Dax and Monica mourn the fact that they only had an hour with Yuval and Dax takes an armcherry song request in the fact check.
Yuval Noah Harari is a tenured professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of the international bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911, Bridesmaids, The Goldbergs) is an American actress and comedian. Wendi sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss their time at the Groundlings together, she talks about her family’s initial disapproval in her career and she reminisces on the horror of commercial auditions. Wendi talks about her decision to not have children and Dax tells of the time a hotel had to change their protocol due to one of his sexual encounters. The two touch on the topic of monogamy in Hollywood, they speculate on why there hasn’t been a sequel to Bridesmaids and Monica and Dax go on a field trip for the fact check.
She’s BAAAAAACKKKKK!!!!!! Kristen Bell rounds out The Good Place week by sitting down with the Armchair Expert (again) to discuss stereotypes, she gives advice on how to handle aggravating situations and she talks about why season 3 of The Good Place is the best yet. Dax asks Kristen to name the times he’s embarrassed her and Kristen refuses to wear headphones. Kristen and Monica name the reasons they love each other and they detail the layers of their baby/mother/wife relationship.
Episode 3 of The Good Place week shines a light on the man behind the curtain, Mike Schur. Mike (The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn 99) sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his philosophy on always “punching up”, he breaks down white privilege, details the many facets of showrunning and he gives a sweet anecdote that sums up Regis Philbin’s character. Dax and Mike discuss the virtues and pitfalls of Andrew Dice Clay, they talk about Mike’s attraction to equality and they come to the conclusion that Ted, Mike and Kristen would be the perfect threesome to pickpocket.
The Good Place week episode 2 is brought to you by American actress, comedian, and most lovable robot, D’Arcy Carden. D’Arcy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her epiphany about confidence, she reveals which bodily function made her husband fall in love with her and she talks about the struggle with making a non-human character resonate with humans. The two talk about the ethical dilemma of student/teacher relationships, D’Arcy perfects the O’Reilly jingle and Dax, as to be expected, loves D’Arcy’s dad.
The Good Place week commences with American actor, producer and National Treasure, Ted Danson. Ted sits down with the Armchair Expert to reminisce on his early years in an unconventional upbringing, he explains the juxtaposition between playing a cool guy on TV despite feeling profoundly uncool in life and he discusses his ride through life on the back of a pickup truck. Dax refers to the first time he met Ted on the street in 1996 and he laments being unable to pronounce Ted’s name. Ted reveals the secret behind being deemed MVP and the two of them share an undying love for Kristen Bell.
Ike Barinholtz (Mad TV, The Mindy Project, Neighbors, Blockers) is an American comedian, screenwriter, actor and most likable human. Ike sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his time on Mad TV, he recalls lying to his parents about dropping out of college and he details a demoralizing job as a telemarketer. Dax attributes his current sense of humor to a young encounter with men on work release and Ike is too tired to make love at night. Dax and Ike do impressions of nearly every human and they both agree that the most terrible experiences make the best stories.
Kathryn Hahn (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers, Bad Moms, Transparent) is an American actress, comedian and special soul. Kathryn sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about her early experience with facades and vulnerability, she discusses the different facets of monogamy and she enlightens us on her young obsession with the Amish. Dax and Kathryn fall in love with each other over their shared taste in music, they discuss defensiveness in the current political climate and they find closure and healing on a previous awkward interaction. Monica battles some demons while Dax battles some gas in the fact check.
Listen to an exclusive preview of Ellen on the Go: www.wondery.fm/dax
In this episode of Experts on Expert, the Armchair Expert speaks with broadcast journalist and Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison about the difference between Canadian journalism and American journalism, his reluctance to appear self-aggrandizing and his most haunting experience as a journalist. Dax praises Keith's spectacular ability to craft language and Keith tells the story of how he cut off his thumb. The two discuss the impossible role of a step-parent, the correct way to evade spousal homicide and the duality of career ambition.
Matthew Lillard (Serial Mom, Scream, Scooby Doo, The Descendants, Good Girls) is an American actor, voice actor, director, producer and human lighthouse. Matthew sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his early experience as a mime named TTAM, having to reinvent his life after an inexplicable period of not working and he labels his ultimate pursuit to remain artistic. Dax decides Matthew was the right man to date the love of his life and Matthew tells the story of how he was cast as the man who stole George Clooney's wife. The two of them travel down memory lane in a sweet recount of their love affair despite Matthew's insistence that they would never remain friends after Without A Paddle.
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Silver Spoons, Juno, Ozark) is an American actor, director, producer and longtime friend of the Armchair Expert. Jason sits down with Dax to discuss tales of sobriety, parenthood and the formula for a deadpan delivery. Jason reveals his many idiosyncrasies and Dax credits Jason for proposing to Kristen. The two of them chat about their mutual ex-scumbaggery, they reminisce on Dax's nude scene in This is Where I Leave You and Dax defends his unique style of wiping his butt.
In this special FARGO combo episode of Armchair Expert, Colin Hanks (Orange County, King Kong, Life In Pieces) and Allison Tolman (Downward Dog, Krampus, Good Girls) sit down with the armchair expert to discuss one of Dax and Monica's favorite TV shows, Fargo. Colin discusses the balance between work and family, how he was almost cast as Dax's role in Zathura and the misconceptions people assume about his life and childhood. Allison talks about what it was like doing press with an animal, her relationship to fame and she shares her experience with depression. Monica and Dax fact check out of Austin, TX where they discuss the world record for treading water.
Seth Rogen (Freaks and Geeks, Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Steve Jobs) is a Canadian actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, producer, director and one of the most prolific humans to walk into the attic. Seth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss how karate gave him an incongruous level of confidence, he talks about his relationship to marijuana and doing stand up comedy at the age of 13. Dax commends Seth's healthy relationship with money and Seth shares his personal feelings on the Sony hack. The two of them discuss working with their wives, Seth details the benefits of not procreating and Dax shares a story in which he passed up an opportunity to audition for The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Daredevil, Law & Order: Criminal Intent) is an American actor, producer and one of Dax’s acting heroes. Vincent sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his struggle during childhood, the series of events that led to Full Metal Jacket and his aversion to sports metaphors. Dax refuses to accept he wasn’t cast in Vincent’s movie and Vincent is disturbed by the dog print in the attic. They talk about their mutual reluctance to owe others in any capacity, Dax implores Vincent to move into his house and Monica loves magicians.
Jon Favreau an American political commentator, creator and co-host of Pod Save America and the former Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama. In this chapter of Experts on Expert, Jon discusses his heartbreak on the 2004 Kerry campaign, his devotion to the democratic ideal of persuasion and he details his farcical experience sharing a name with the other Jon Favreau. Dax chooses to see America as two spouses in a rocky marriage and Jon shares the story of his first meeting with Barack Obama. The two debate whether it's productive to be inundated with current events, they pinpoint what distinguishes an average speech from a great one and Dax wonders if Jon is the Ma Anand Sheela to Obama's Bhagwan.
David Harbour (Stranger Things, The Green Hornet, Revolutionary Road) is an American actor and the man Dax deems the most masculine man to walk into the attic. David sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his proclivity for denouncing intellectuals, his fear that we are losing our empathy and his experience with bipolar disorder. David debunks the misconception that affliction is necessary for creativity and Dax details the mechanics of the microwave oven. Dax and David bond over the benefits of AA, their mutual feelings of self-loathing and Monica teaches Dax a new phrase in the fact check.
Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, That 70’s Show, Friends with Benefits) is an American actress, producer and self-proclaimed armcherry. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her immigration to America at the age of seven, her commitment to exploring various roles and her personal evolution to knowing her worth. Mila talks about her decision to openly embrace her flaws and Dax is shocked by Mila’s startlingly high level of adjustment. The two discuss Mila’s relationship with her family, they share tools on how to avoid conflict and per Mila’s request, Dax shares a very intimate story involving Jello and an STD clinic.
Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League, Big Mouth) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer and Dax’s favorite person to run into on the street. Nick sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his inability to stay awake, his first game night at Kristen Bell’s house and how his family’s wealth informed his current relationship to money. Nick talks about his most informative working experience and Dax shares his run-in with Mike Tyson. The two bond over a shared proclivity to say the exact wrong thing, they debate which car Nick should be driving and they discuss puberty in all its glory.
In this episode of Experts on Expert, the Armchair Expert speaks to author and humorist, David Sedaris about behavioral tics, and value of writing without preciousness and his provocative encounters at book signings. David talks about the authors he is inspired by and Dax tells a story about why he can't drink Pellegrino. The two of them breakdown the dilemma of sharing family stories, the current culture of sensitivity and their mutual path to sobriety.
David Sedaris -- is the author of Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You are Engulfed in Flames, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls and Theft by Finding. He is a contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4.
John Gourley and Zachary Carothers are members of the American Rock Band, Portugal. The Man. They sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the pressure of following up a Grammy, dog sled culture in Alaska, and the value of paying homage to other artists. Zach and John give insight into recording artists they admire and Dax is baffled at their general lack of jackassery. They talk about the elusiveness of a pop hit, the highs and lows of being "known" and Monica and Dax reach new levels of indecency in the fact check.
Laura Labo (Dax's Mom) is an American entrepreneur, businesswoman and Dax's #1 love of his life. In this special episode, Laura sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her life story, the mistakes that made her and the struggle of raising a family as a single mother. Dax describes the many reasons he loves her and Laura talks about the recent death of her husband. The two of them travel down memory lane in a delightful and endearing lovefest in which they talk about Laura's bouts with depression, the impetus for Dax's love addiction and the exact degree of ugliness to which Dax was as a baby.
Mae Whitman (Parenthood, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Hope Floats, Good Girls) is an American actress and singer, but paramount to all of that she is Dax's sweet bebe. Mae sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her 28 year long career as an actress, how she juggled acting and childhood, and she doubles down on her undying love of Taylor Swift. In this lovefest, Dax gush's over Mae's superior personality and Mae talks about her experience doing full nudity on stage. The two of them reveal their salacious plot to have more scenes together on Parenthood, they reminisce on a very specific facial expression that brought the two of them together and Monica and Dax debate the tired topic of how to pronounce Caribbean.
Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Finding Dory, The Mick) is an American actress, producer, comedian and one of Dax's first friends in Los Angeles. Kaitlin sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss a childhood accident that sparked years of insecurity, her need for perfection and her struggle with balancing motherhood and work. Dax and Kaitlin speculate on why they got kicked out of the Groundlings, their mutual undying love for Rob McElhenney and a drug-induced adventure that ultimately resulted in Dax getting bit by a seal. Dax waxes poetic on the character qualities of Kaitlin's father and Monica and Dax debate the color of Lori Loughlin's hair.
Talib Kweli is an American hip hop recording artist, entrepreneur and social activist. He sits down with the Armchair Expert where they have an honest debate about many social issues plaguing America today. They touch on all of the topics one would generally avoid at the dinner table including race, gender and religion. In addition, Talib talks about his place in the hip-hop world, his parents' emphasis on education and his counterview to Sam Harris. Dax and Talib reminisce about an altercation they teamed up on, they talk about their mutual worship of Jay Z and Monica discusses the gender patterns she's observed from working on the podcast.
In this inaugural episode of Experts on Expert, the Armchair Expert speaks to author and child psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogel about human patterns of behavior, the impact of social media on the family and the importance of free-reign grandparenting. Wendy gives advice on how to speak to children and Dax asks for reassurance on his parenting strategy. The two of them breakdown the moral dilemma of behavioral diagnoses, the role of fear and Wendy discusses a study that uncovered the one thing every child wishes they could tell their parents.
Dr. Wendy Mogel is a practicing clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, New York Times bestselling author and international public speaker.
Erika Christensen (Traffic, Swimfan, Parenthood) is an American actress and one of Dax's most beloved TV sisters. Erika sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her journey as a child actor, her emphasis on clarity and recall, and the areas in which Scientology has informed her worldview. Erika details her days as a cyclist and Dax talks about his favorite scene on Parenthood, They discuss some of their earliest memories of one another, the importance of B vitamins and how bystanders could easily have mistaken them for lovers. Dax, also, reveals the location of the best grilled cheese on planet earth.
Johnny Knoxville (Jackass, Jackass The Movie, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Ringer) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and stunt performer. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his early relationship with hospitals, his love of hillbilly culture and the mindset he enters before attempting a stunt. Johnny details some of his notable injuries and Dax reveals why he thought Johnny didn't like him. The two talk about the power of children to save their parents, the importance of discretion when picking your heroes and Dax and Monica discuss why it's okay to put your feet on the couch.
Marc Maron (WTF with Marc Maron, Maron, Glow) is an American comedian, actor, podcast host and the impetus for Armchair Expert. In this episode, Marc discusses his trajectory toward success, the license that comes with playing flawed characters and the particularly intimate connection between podcast hosts and their audience. Dax and Marc hash out an uncomfortable text exchange they had a few months back and the two of them question whether achieving success has the power to heal wounds. They discuss the importance of having a flexible identity, the emphasis stand ups place on paying your dues and Dax warns of the dangers of chess.
Bob Mervak is an American pianist, vocalist, songwriter and studio writer. He sits down at his keyboard to share some music and conversation with the Armchair Expert. Bob discusses his childhood best friendship with Kristen Bell, the experience of composing a movie score and what it was like to play music for George Clooney. Bob talks about the importance of enjoying music regardless of its technical proficiency and Dax serenades us with a very blue rendition of Silver Bells. The two question whether young platonic relationships are possible, they unpack how to navigate jealousy among friends and Monica deems Bob the most talented person she's ever met.
Joel McHale (The Soup, Community, The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale) is an American comedian, actor and television host extraordinaire. Joel sits down with Dax to discuss his childhood diagnosis of “slow starter,” the trap of overcommitment and the hang up’s that come from working in reality TV. Joel impresses Dax with his stature and Dax opens up a controversial conversation about societal punishment. The two talk about the evolutionary benefit of dyslexia, their mutual experience with short-term memory loss and it is revealed (spoiler!) that they are actually the same person living in two bodies.
Chris Hardwick is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, television host, writer, producer, podcaster and king of the world. Chris takes time out of his impossibly busy schedule to sit down with the Armchair Expert and discuss his road to sobriety, the Dunning-Kruger effect, the entrapment of confirmation bias and why we should all be referring to bowling alleys as bowling centers. Chris reveals why calculating data is the trick to betterment and Dax unfairly accuses Chris of having high self-esteem. The two of them debate whether or not we are currently living in a matrix, the reason humans gravitate toward conspiracy theories and Monica adds Chris to her list of #MonicaLovesBoys.
Seth Green is an American actor, voice artist, comedian, producer, writer, director and one of Dax's true loves of his life. Seth sits down with the Armchair Expert to travel down memory lane and discuss how Seth got Dax cast in Without A Paddle, why Seth was the worst mark in Punk'd history and Seth's affinity for zero gravity. Seth talks about his experience as a first time director and Dax chronicles the 72 hours he spent on their press tour that ultimately led to his relapse. They talk about their mutual experience working with a real bear, Seth's fame as the Rally's Cha-Ching guy and Dax commends Seth for his unmatched integrity.
Katie Couric is an American journalist, author and general badass. Katie sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about her new documentary series, the current societal emphasis on political correctness, the influx of confirmation bias and her personal experience losing a spouse. Dax debates the efficacy of empathy and Katie implores our listeners to rename her podcast. Dax and Katie discuss her watershed interview with Sarah Palin, the balance between work and motherhood and Monica and Dax, yet again, broach a fiery hot-button topic during the fact check.
Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, Bad Santa, Even Almighty) is an American actress, author and is Dax's beloved TV sister. Lauren sits down with Dax to discuss her colorful childhood, the fear of slowing down and her lack of a maternal influence. Lauren expresses a reluctance to accept social media and Dax shares a method he implemented to curb addiction. They touch on their mutual appreciation for Parenthood, how Chaz Dean transformed the LA billboard scene, and Dax and Monica have an inane debate over the attractiveness of a capella performers.
Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State, Alex Inc.) is an American actor, writer and producer. In this doppelgänger episode, Zach and Dax discuss the unending hardship of being recognized as the other, the first time they were sexually aroused and their mutual love of Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. Zach talks about his experience of growing up with therapist parents and Dax details his Shaun Of The Dead moment. The two of them discuss the emotional trap of dating “out of their league”, the uphill battle of being a writer and Dax regales the world with his Mike Tyson impression.
Anna Faris (Scary Movie, The House Bunny, Mom, Anna Faris is Unqualified Podcast) is an American actress, producer and comedian. Anna and Dax crack open a can of Redbull and discuss honesty in parenting, becoming the mayor of The Grove shopping mall and gender roles in partnerships. Dax reveals the details of his open relationship and Anna questions the potential negative effect of pornography. The two of them dissect the pay disparity between men and women, the expectations that come with being in a #couplegoals relationship and Dax tells the story of how they were both sent to Hawaii to eat a piece of chocolate.
Van Hunt is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and one of Dax’s longtime obsessions. Van sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his colorful upbringing, his unconventional musical process and the connection between music and comedy. The two of them bond over a history of strong mothers and they ask the question scholars have been debating since the beginning of time: are blind people really blind? Van explains his acceptance of never fitting into a box and Dax practically croaks as Van sings live for the podcast. Monica and Dax debate a controversial topic during the fact check and yet they still like each other at the end of it. Thus, proving the impossible- respectful disagreement can exist!
Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen, The Ellen DeGeneres show) is an American comedian, daytime talk show host, actress, writer, producer and one of Dax’s true loves. Ellen sits down with Dax in her podcast debut to discuss getting invited to Johnny Carson’s couch, reinventing a career at age 45 and the fall out of her public coming out. Dax admits men are disgusting and Ellen reveals she questioned whether she would make it to adulthood. They talk about what its like to be an unintentional advocate for an entire community, the need to be free from secrets and Dax makes a public declaration that he’d like to kiss Ellen more.
Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Big Little Lies, Step Brothers) is an actor, producer and genuinely one of the nicest people Dax has ever hated. Adam sits down with the armchair expert to discuss how he fell backwards into comedy after seeking a career in dramatic acting, his hero worship of Spike Lee and the two of them discuss why they had a mutual unappreciation for the other before they met. Dax tells the story of how he unpredictably ended up on Letterman and Adam speaks about his struggle with self-worth and recognizability. They examine their differing perspectives on being a younger sibling, Dax commends Adam for taking on projects he loves and they both agree, unequivocally, that Will Ferrell is the greatest.
Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) is an American musician and the kindest rock star Dax has ever known. In this episode of Armchair Expert, Pete sits down with Dax to examine his journey as a young musician, he explains how his son pulled him out of a depression and he tells the story of how James Gandolfini accidentally promoted his new bar. Dax talks about hitting his rock bottom in Hawaii and Pete reveals his connection to Muhammad Ali. They explore what it’s like to be a normal person turned role model, the inevitable infantilization that accompanies fame, how to balance artistic integrity and supplying a product, and Dax struggles to uncover Fall Out Boy’s vice.
Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Man Show, Win Ben Stein's Money) is a late night host, comedian and one of Dax's best friends who he never sees. In this episode of Armchair Expert, Dax and Jimmy discuss the origin of Jimmy Kimmel Live and why tomatoes are fascinating. Jimmy recounts how he accidentally learned to play the clarinet, the time he willed a tsunami into existence and he reveals Dax's next birthday present. Dax talks about his scariest adult moment to date and how Jimmy is getting better looking by the second. They discuss the experience of using their platforms for political exposure and Dax re-lives the moment when he realized with certainty: Jimmy Kimmel is mean.
Joy Bryant (Parenthood, Good Girls Revolt, Antwone Fisher) is an actress, writer, model and played Dax's TV wife for 6 years on NBC’s Parenthood. In this episode of Armchair Expert, Joy and Dax touch on their favorite subject: race in America. They also discuss their sense memory of government cheese, how humans code switch to match their environment, the sociological experience of doing drugs and how to reframe negative perspectives of their childhood. Most importantly they acknowledge their mutual appreciation for sleeping with celebrities.
Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch, That 70's Show) is an actor, investor and the prime person Dax credits for his break into Hollywood. In this episode of Armchair Expert, Ashton and Dax discuss their time on Punk'd together, feeling stuck in the cultural zeitgeist as one particular role and the sisyphean climb to satisfaction. Ashton discusses commerce, art, and the importance of social influence in entertainment. They, also, talk about what it's like to be married to powerhouse ladies, the difference between pity and compassion and they delve deep into their mutual struggle against balding.
Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Veronica Mars, Frozen, Bad Moms) is an actress, singer, philanthropist and married to the most handsome man in the universe. In this inaugural episode of Armchair Expert, Kristen and Dax discuss what makes their marriage work and Dax recounts why he assumed Kristen had breast implants for the first three months of dating. Kristen explains her life philosophy and how it dictates her every decision and she warns people of why they should never sit next to her in a movie. The two of them question their impact on social media and Dax reveals the worst thing he has ever done.
What qualifies me for such an endeavor? More than a decade of sobriety, a degree in Anthropology and four years of improv training. I will attempt to discover human “truths” without any laboratory work, clinical trials or data collection. I will be, in the great tradition of 16th-century scientists, an Armchair Expert.